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Officiers injured in mass shooting denied workers’ compensation

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2017 | Workers' Compensation |

The recent mass shooting at a country music festival in another state shocked and terrified many throughout the country. Tragically, many lives were lost and hundreds of innocent attendees were injured as they tried to escape the massacre. Approximately 40 off-duty southern California law enforcement officers were attending the concert when the shooting broke out. Reportedly, four were injured while using their skills to assist wounded attendees. There has been recent outrage when reports circulated that the officers would be denied California workers’ compensation for injuries suffered during the out-of-state shooting.

The officers reportedly helped to assist other attendees, and in the process, four were injured. One officer was reportedly shot in the abdomen and suffered serious injuries. The other three officer’s injuries were not reported.

Apparently, the officers filed for workers’ compensation to cover the medical expenses for their injuries regarding the Las Vegas mass shooting, but have been denied coverage. Orange County says it has no control in the process due to the state Labor Code. Reportedly, the law dictates that injuries may only be coveredthrough workers’ comp  if they occurred while working within the state of California.

Understandably, there is public outrage that the officers may not be compensated for the injuries they suffered while attempting to rescue the shooting victims. The general consensus is that emergency personnel should not be concerned in future instances when victims are in need of assistance, even if the EMTs are in another state. Orange County officials are making efforts to get the EMTs covered despite the initial ruling, and it has been suggested that an exception to the law should exist for mass casualties occurring out of state. Workers in these circumstances will want to rely upon the support and guidance of an attorney experienced in all aspects of the workers’ compensation system. 

Source: NBC News, “Calif. Deputies Hurt in Las Vegas Massacre Are Denied Workers’ Comp“, Erik Ortiz, Oct. 25, 2017