The Connecticut workers’ compensation system provides a claimant ample opportunity to appeal an adverse decision, but sometimes, the appeal can be unavailing. The case of a Norwalk police officer who was accidentally shot in a training exercise provides a sad example.
On September 5, 2017, the officer was participating in a training exercise with other officers when one of them accidentally shot him in the right arm. The bullet passed through the arm and into the rib cage. Since the incident, the officer has struggled with blood clots, a partial blockage of his heart and permanent nerve damage in his right hand. He has also had episodes of PTSD. Doctors recently informed that he will need a kidney transplant to ensure his long-term survival. Because the officer had suffered a workplace injury, he naturally filed a workers’ compensation claim.
The workers’ compensation insurer for the city of Norwalk denied his claim, and he appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The commission decided that the officer was suffering from Type 1 diabetes and that it was this disease that prevented him from working. His family pointed out that he had been healthy before being wounded and that he had worked as a police officer for 30 years while managing the diabetes. The officer may yet seek court review of the commission’s decision.
Anyone whose workers’ compensation claim has been denied on apparently irrational grounds may wish to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for advice on whether an appeal would be fruitful.