Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

How 7 minutes could cost a trooper’s widow millions
NY Post ^ | April 27, 2014 | Susan Edelman

Posted on 04/28/2014 8:41:29 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom

On Dec. 7, 2009, New York State Police narcotics investigator Richard O’Brien fell off a ladder while fixing his mother’s roof.

He lived for only three more hours after the fall — but in that brief time, fellow troopers tried to have him retired on disability.

Now, Stephanie O’Brien, his widow, is fighting in court, saying a faulty fax machine and a measly seven minutes mean she and the couple’s daughter would get a $342,000 death payout — rather than lifetime benefits that could total in the millions.

The case is the first involving an officer filing for a disability retirement on the day of his death, lawyers said.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Society
KEYWORDS: biggestgangintown; cultureofcorruption; disabilitypension; donutwatch; earlyretirement; government; pensions; ripoff; thugswithabadge
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-60 next last
Another example of the ingrained culture government employees live in where they see taxpayers as a big pail of money to dip in to. Us peons buy life insurance in case disaster strikes. We don't rush to find a fax machine so we can file for disability and retirement benefits as we lay dying.
1 posted on 04/28/2014 8:41:30 AM PDT by Oshkalaboomboom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

wow


2 posted on 04/28/2014 8:42:48 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

Wow, the grievance is that they weren’t quite able to circumvent the system to enable them to bilk the tax payer for a greater payout.


3 posted on 04/28/2014 8:44:37 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

A similar situation happened with several National Guardsmen a while back that were called to Active Duty. They all signed their SGLI forms (life insurance) and submitted them to their S-1 (admin) on the same day that they shipped off to Iraq. Their aircraft suffered a mishap and all perished. The court ruled that their intent was to be insured and therefore their spouses received the SGLI. That should be precedent for this case.


4 posted on 04/28/2014 8:47:07 AM PDT by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

Slap if I’m out of line here but I don’t think that disability benefits are designed as last minute life insurance. $342,000 invested wisely should keep his family off the streets. If I fall off a ladder tomorrow my heirs are not getting that much.


5 posted on 04/28/2014 8:47:35 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

Most giverment employees know how to milk the system.


6 posted on 04/28/2014 8:47:39 AM PDT by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom
If his death was in the line of duty I'd feel differently.Even if he was in uniform hanging out at the local Dunkin Donuts I'd feel differently.But falling...while fixing a roof? First of all roofing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country.If I know that he certainly would have.Roofing is a job best left to professionals.But it's the fact that he was off duty...not the fact that he was foolish...that affects my attitude.

On duty...she gets the pension.Off duty...sorry,sweetheart.

7 posted on 04/28/2014 8:49:05 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

sorry, I can’t take her side on this. The retirement payout is already too much. Doesn’t look like a safety net to me, to make sure ppl don’t starve. It look like a very comfortable retirement lifestyle with that sort of payout


8 posted on 04/28/2014 8:51:39 AM PDT by 4rcane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

This needs to be investigated, and the fraudsters need to be fired if not charged, and the system overhauled.


9 posted on 04/28/2014 8:53:43 AM PDT by ansel12 ((Libertarianism offers the transitory concepts and dialogue to move from conservatism, to liberalism)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rjsimmon

I agree with the decision in this case. However, if, lying on the ground and dying, one of them trys to get insurance, I think his lying there bleeding to death should be considered a “pre-existing condition”.

Rushing to get any type of insurance on someone who is in the throes of death is unethical.


10 posted on 04/28/2014 8:54:47 AM PDT by cuban leaf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: rjsimmon

Not the same. They signed and submitted their life insurance paperwork to be covered on active duty... and then died on active duty before all “technical” requirements had been met. There is such a thing in the insurance industry of “constructive receipt” that says a reasonable person would assume they were covered if they had fulfilled all that was required of them to be covered.

In this case, the family is entitled to a death benefit. What they (and the department) tried to do was arrange a switch to get the officer’s family a higher benefit on the backs of the taxpayers. There was no line of duty injury and no medical retirement... they just tried to make it look on paper like there was.

I have a great deal of sympathy for their situation... but none for their attempt to milk the system.


11 posted on 04/28/2014 8:55:30 AM PDT by pgyanke (Republicans get in trouble when not living up to their principles. Democrats... when they do.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: rjsimmon
That should be precedent for this case.

Nope...nope...NOPE.Apples and oranges.Those Guardsmen,first of all,were heading into combat.This guy was fixing a roof.Second,those Guardsmen were **ON DUTY**.This guy wasn't.Yes,the Guardsmen absolutely should have gotten that money.And if the cop was on duty,I'd be willing to overlook the technicalities regarding filing deadlines,etc and give his widow the money.

But the guy was off duty.In such a case,rules are rules.No money for the widow.

12 posted on 04/28/2014 8:55:31 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

Sounds like just plain old FRAUD on behalf of every Jack Booted Thug involved and the widow. LIFE IN PRISON for the whole bunch.


13 posted on 04/28/2014 8:57:19 AM PDT by eyeamok
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative
His death was pretty much negligent suicide, if such a thing existed.

I understand why his wife was desperate to milk the taxpayers for every last penny - it was not just, but it was understandable.

All of those state employees working - for once - as hard as they could, to help bleed the system is repulsive.

Especially since the revelation of kickbacks in the NYC system.

14 posted on 04/28/2014 8:58:12 AM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

Should have road him around in the ambulance until the paperwork was filed. It’s been done before.


15 posted on 04/28/2014 8:59:12 AM PDT by dblshot (I am John Galt.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rjsimmon
No, I agree with GSC here.

Those Guardsmen were rushing into danger.

This guy was on his own time, stupidly trying to fix a roof.

16 posted on 04/28/2014 9:00:21 AM PDT by wideawake
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom
'At that point, the 14-year police veteran became ineligible for retirement. The state Comptroller’s Office offered Stephanie a death benefit — three times O’Brien’s last 12 months of pay. But the disability benefits could have amounted to much more — $3.3 million if Stephanie, now 36, lives to age 86.'

BS.

17 posted on 04/28/2014 9:01:17 AM PDT by Theoria (End Socialism : No more GOP and Dem candidates)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

This is theft from the taxpayers.


18 posted on 04/28/2014 9:03:47 AM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rjsimmon

I Don’t see the 2 situations as similar


19 posted on 04/28/2014 9:05:37 AM PDT by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

More crooked cops trying to rip off the taxpayers.


20 posted on 04/28/2014 9:09:29 AM PDT by caver (Obama: Home of the Whopper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wideawake
His death was pretty much negligent suicide, if such a thing existed.

I'm not sure I'd go *that* far but it certainly was foolish.

All of those state employees working - for once - as hard as they could, to help bleed the system is repulsive. Especially since the revelation of kickbacks in the NYC system.

A few years ago there was a news story that the Boston Fire Department's retirement board was being investigated by the Feds.It seems that records showed that a huge percentage (IIRC it was half) of all retirements from the BFD were "disability" retirements which,under state and/or Federal law,meant that the fireman got more money than he otherwise would have *and* that his pension would be free of state and/or Federal income tax.I don't know what happened to this case but if the DOJ was being run by Comrade Holder my money's on it having been quietly dropped.After all,Massachusetts government paycheck recipients (I refuse to call them "workers") are very loyal...and very generous...donors to the Rat Party.

21 posted on 04/28/2014 9:10:22 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: pgyanke
Worth repeating:

I have a great deal of sympathy for their situation... but none for their attempt to milk the system.

22 posted on 04/28/2014 9:10:35 AM PDT by null and void ( They don't think think they are above the law. They think they are the law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: for-q-clinton

The headline should read “7 minutes SAVED taxpayers millions”.


23 posted on 04/28/2014 9:10:53 AM PDT by BipolarBob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

Exactly what I was thinking. Just read this story, they are openly bragging about scamming the system. This is a man who on his own free time had an unfortunate accident which resulted in his death, his DEATH. He is NOT disabled, he is DEAD. Yet the are openly saying they want to SCAM the system by saying he is “disabled” when it is not true!


24 posted on 04/28/2014 9:12:44 AM PDT by GrandJediMasterYoda (Hitlery: Incarnation of evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wideawake; cuban leaf; pgyanke; Gay State Conservative

Excellent points all and I can see the difference. My point was that police are of an occupation that is considered to be on duty 24/7, same as EMTs and firefighters. I do believe you all have pointed out that the spouse is trying to milk the system using a technicality and I concur. Bottom line is whether the intent of the insured was to obtain life insurance and took the necessary steps to do so but tragedy befell him prior to consumation. In this case it appears that the (soon to be) widow was the one trying to get the insurance since the trooper himself was unable to do so.


25 posted on 04/28/2014 9:14:32 AM PDT by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: rjsimmon

If he only lived 3 hours after the fall, I am guessing (maybe incorrectly) that he was not conscious or able to sign things or communicate. If that is the case, he would not have had any intent, on his own, to sign up for the disability benefits. Also, there is quite likely a waiting period of hours to days that he would have to meet, after the injury event, before he would be actually eligible to receive benefits. His death just 3 hours later may not have allowed him to meet the waiting period.


26 posted on 04/28/2014 9:15:14 AM PDT by NEMDF
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: pgyanke
I have a great deal of sympathy for their situation...

Dear about to be departed, I need you to hurry up and sign this insurance before you are dead. Sympathy? Really?

27 posted on 04/28/2014 9:15:18 AM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts (The meek shall not inherit the Earth)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom
"We don't rush to find a fax machine so we can file for disability and retirement benefits as we lay dying. "

How about calling a friend to come over and help dress a corpse in his sheriff uniform? The old boy dies in his sleep but the wive's first thought was how to increase the death benefit. True story.

28 posted on 04/28/2014 9:15:33 AM PDT by moehoward
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

Wow, her husband lay dying and all this woman could think about was gaming the system so she could collect as much benefits as possible after he croaked. Lovely. Now she even has the nerve to sue over her failed rip-off.


29 posted on 04/28/2014 9:23:18 AM PDT by PaulCruz2016
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rjsimmon
My point was that police are of an occupation that is considered to be on duty 24/7, same as EMTs and firefighters.

Yes,it could be argued that you're correct on this.And if that cop had died "off duty" while trying to stop an attempted kidnapping that just happened to occur in front of his house then I'd support the widow's position.But this guy was **really** off duty.The most dangerous thing in *his* world at the moment of his fall was the ground...not some homicidal punk who happened to live next door.

30 posted on 04/28/2014 9:25:16 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

Most law enforcement agencies in NYS are covered by a “Performance of Duty” disability benefit, awarded to those who are injured while on duty. I believe this to be the hangup. He wasn’t on duty.


31 posted on 04/28/2014 9:26:10 AM PDT by MountainYankee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GrandJediMasterYoda

Good point. I have disability insurance that will replace a portion of my income if I am disabled. If I die, these payments cease. What the heck kind of disability insurance continues to pay out after the covered person dies?


32 posted on 04/28/2014 9:28:41 AM PDT by stremba
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: moehoward

Often, in the military and Naval services, when a serviceman falls deathly ill, or is wounded but does not expire on the field with death being imminent, the service has the latitude to retire him on whatever duty status he is on. Thusly assuring the servicemans’ heirs/estate, benefits IN addition to SGLI and a VA death gratuity.

Some say it is milking the system, but the law enabling such action by the secretary of the service involved allows it under certain conditions.

I had a young Soldier fall gravely ill while under my command. While he pulled through, he was still retired on active duty and probably (if living) has both a VA disability and US Army retired pay for life. The circumstances were not combat related, nor even duty related. Just a near-death illness due to a systemic infection from a small cut incurred after duty hours on his own time.

I have no regrets about assuring that he and his heirs would have been covered doubly by SGLI and retired/VA benefits if he had passed. When I last saw him , he was barely able to function and care for himself, brain damage and a severely weakened immune system. I pray he has regained his health.

Others, died in combat and were not retired on AD, so family received SGLI, VA death benefits etc. But no retired benefits, fair? No, but “ No free lunches for the Dogs of War....”.

Best;


33 posted on 04/28/2014 9:30:16 AM PDT by Manly Warrior (US ARMY (Ret), "No Free Lunches for the Dogs of War")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

Title should read: How a faulty fax machine saved NY taxpayer’s millions from a scam!


34 posted on 04/28/2014 9:31:12 AM PDT by raybbr (Obamacare needs a death panel.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

While I feel bad for them,it seems they are getting a pretty decent payout already. If I had the same thing happen my widow would get ZIP.


35 posted on 04/28/2014 9:38:53 AM PDT by oldtech
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rjsimmon
That should be precedent for this case.

No it shouldn't! He wasn't injured in the line of duty, he was injured while working on his mother's roof.

36 posted on 04/28/2014 9:39:15 AM PDT by LambSlave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: raybbr
Title should read: How a faulty fax machine saved NY taxpayer’s millions from a scam!

Exactly.

37 posted on 04/28/2014 9:41:47 AM PDT by sharkhawk (Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

We have gone so far down the rabbit hole that our public “servants” think it is actionable if a circumstance arises where they are not able to game the system for their own gain.

If a man is comotose after falling off a roof, it is not possible for his to retire in the next few hours. It is an abuse of the system to attempt such a thing. Rather than suing for additional money, these people should be indicted for fraud.


38 posted on 04/28/2014 9:41:56 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (Health Care Haiku: If You Have a Right / To the Labor I Provide / I Must Be Your Slave)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

Hell, this has been going on for years. In 1974 we were going on duty for the 11-7 am shift, bullshitting with the guys getting off 3-11 when the troop door opened and (I saw his wife and son ) shove officer X inside where he either died or was went cold. Half his uniform was unbuttoned, off or missing. I told the appropriate people what I saw but they decided he died on duty. He made it to the door.


39 posted on 04/28/2014 9:52:14 AM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Georgia Girl 2

If I fall off a ladder tomorrow my heirs are not getting that much....Well, on the bright side, they COULD sell the ladder?


40 posted on 04/28/2014 9:55:01 AM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: rjsimmon

“A similar situation happened with several National Guardsmen a while back that were called to Active Duty. They all signed their SGLI forms (life insurance) and submitted them to their S-1 (admin) on the same day that they shipped off to Iraq. Their aircraft suffered a mishap and all perished. The court ruled that their intent was to be insured and therefore their spouses received the SGLI. That should be precedent for this case.”
*******************************************************************

It is NOT a precedent. They signed up for LIFE INSURANCE and then later died in a plane crash—the “peril” for which SGLI insures. The State Trooper had life insurance which paid off when he lost his life—his fellow troopers and his family were simply trying to scam the taxpayers out of some undeserved benefits.


41 posted on 04/28/2014 10:03:54 AM PDT by House Atreides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: oldtech

Ya Old prick. I like her.


42 posted on 04/28/2014 10:04:21 AM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: rjsimmon

No not at all. Nowhere near the same thing.


43 posted on 04/28/2014 10:04:45 AM PDT by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Safetgiver

Huh?


44 posted on 04/28/2014 10:04:51 AM PDT by ansel12 ((Libertarianism offers the transitory concepts and dialogue to move from conservatism, to liberalism)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom
Fellow troopers rushed to the emergency room ... where O’Brien, 42, lay mortally injured and unconscious
How could he sign his retirement papers if he was unconscious?
He fell off his mother's roof, so why isn't the guy's wife suing her insurance company instead of fleecing the taxpayers?
45 posted on 04/28/2014 10:11:07 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom

The widow and those who assisted in trying to perpetrate this fraud should be charged with criminal conspiracy.

The other troopers should be fired.If that means loss of pensions,tough!

The widow should be fined a hefty amount .

All parties involved ruled ineligble for any future government employment.


46 posted on 04/28/2014 10:25:51 AM PDT by hoosierham (Freedom isn't free)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LambSlave
No it shouldn't! He wasn't injured in the line of duty, he was injured while working on his mother's roof.

I will claim ignorance in how LEOs work the legality of such, but in the military during ANY injury, whether on or off duty, an investigation (JAG) is conducted to determine if the injury was "In the line of duty" and has nothing to do with whether the person was at work or not. Lots of car accident injuries, home accidents, etc. are considered "In the line of duty" simply because there was no misconduct (illegal activity). If LEOs operate under the same presumption then the incident I cited would be precedent. If not, then all bets are off.

47 posted on 04/28/2014 10:29:41 AM PDT by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
Dear about to be departed, I need you to hurry up and sign this insurance before you are dead. Sympathy? Really?

No, genius... sympathy for a dead husband. Milking the system... no. I think I was clear for the literate.

48 posted on 04/28/2014 10:31:01 AM PDT by pgyanke (Republicans get in trouble when not living up to their principles. Democrats... when they do.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: BipolarBob

Amen!


49 posted on 04/28/2014 10:32:13 AM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Safetgiver

LOL! Thats about all they will get.


50 posted on 04/28/2014 10:38:07 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-60 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson