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Injured firefighters sue workers' compensation management

For some jobs, it's not so much a question of whether a worker is going to be injured as how soon a worker is going to be injured. Firefighting would be near the top of this list. Everyone in Connecticut owes a debt to firefighters who risk their lives to keep the public safe, and no doubt everyone wants to see firefighters get the benefits they need if they are hurt or sickened on the job.

Recently a group of firefighters filed suit against the company that manages the workers' compensation program for the city of Phoenix. The firefighters allege that the company has routinely denied or delayed workers' compensation claims by injured or ill firefighters. Joining the suit was the family of a firefighter who died from cancer that they said was caused by exposure to dangerous chemicals at work.

The firefighters said that doctors treated all the injured firefighters named in the suit and agreed that their injuries should be covered by workers' compensation, but medical investigators disputed the claims. The firefighters say they suspect these investigators are instructed by the management company to deny the claims in an effort to save money. The New Jersey-based company named in the suit would not answer press inquiries about the disputed claims.

In Connecticut, workers' compensation benefits help firefighters deal with medical expenses and lost wages when they are injured or made ill on the job. When they are unable to work and are waiting for benefits they need, they can be left unable to pay for daily living expenses. It's important for firefighters and all injured Connecticut workers to get help navigating the workers' compensation system and fighting for the benefits they need.

Source: Connecticut Post, "Phoenix firefighters sue over injury benefits," August 1, 2013

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