Skip to comments.'Miracle' tornado survivor denied workers' comp
Posted on 10/23/2011 1:40:53 PM PDT by Cardhu
JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) By all accounts, Mark Lindquist is a hero, an underpaid social worker who nearly gave his life trying to save three developmentally disabled adults from the Joplin tornado. Both houses of the Missouri legislature honored Lindquist, the Senate resolution calling him "a true hero and inspiration to others."
But heroism doesn't pay the bills. The tornado's 200 mph winds tossed Lindquist nearly a block, broke every rib, obliterated his shoulder, knocked out most of his teeth and put him in a coma for about two months.
Lindquist, 51, ran up medical expenses that exceed $2.5 million, and the bills keep coming. He requires 11 daily prescriptions and will need more surgery.
But he has no medical insurance. Lindquist couldn't afford it on a job paying barely above minimum wage. He assumed workers' compensation would cover his bills, but his claim was denied "based on the fact that there was no greater risk than the general public at the time you were involved in the Joplin tornado," according to a letter to Lindquist from Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, his company's workers' comp provider.
That reasoning has angered Lindquist's family, employer, even lawmakers.
"I think they need to take another look at the circumstances and revisit the claim," state Rep. Bill Lant, R-Joplin, said. "What he did went beyond heroics."
Lindquist watched the skies darken on the evening of May 22 while on his way to the group home occupied by Mark Farmer, Rick Fox and Tripp Miller, three middle-aged men with Down syndrome. Soon after he arrived, a tornado siren began to blare.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
They’ll change their minds. He will end up getting his med bills paid. Good hearted people around this country will see to that.
His “accident” was not caused by any action of his employer. Case Closed!
No good deed goes unpunished.
In Missouri, they’ll have to pay. The company I worked for previously had an employee hit by a car in the parking lot. He’s on the premises, on the clock. Pay up.
What company insures the shelter?
People have all kinds of comp claims paid that have nothing to do with any action of their employer. If you are performing your job and it results in you being injured, that’s a comp claim.
WC insurance is not for the actions of an employer but to cover risks of the job. A tornado is an act of God, however his job was to supervise these kids, leaving them would have been dereliction. He was doing his job. Pay up.
Appeal. there are at least 2 levels left.
You said it before I could!!
It’s insurance company bullsh*t like this that gives progressives the high road. Every company that insures with them should mail their intention to cancel notices tomorrow. I’m sure there will be plenty of companies looking to pick up the business.
I agree with you on this one. He certainly should have his expenses covered by someone (including the people whose lives he saved, if possible), but it seems that this is clearly not a legitimate Workers Compensation Insurance claim based on what is being reported.
>>>I agree with you on this one. He certainly should have his expenses covered by someone (including the people whose lives he saved, if possible)
The article states the people saved were 3 downs syndrome middle aged men. You’ll see Chrissy Mathews vote Republican for president before the 3 saved people can “pay up” as you would have them...
Mark Lindquist, of Joplin, Mo., and his sister, Linda Baldwin, walk together on Oct. 3, prior to Lindquist's release from the Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mount Vernon, Mo. Lindquist suffered serious injuries during the May 22, 2011, tornado that destroyed a significant portion of Joplin.
The three men with Down’s Syndrome were killed by the tornado. Lindquist was injured trying to protect them. He’s still a hero, by any measure.
But— if you have Adult/Baby Syndrome, you can get SSI...
Incidents don’t need to be caused by employer to be covered. Each state/company providing coverage has a little different laws/rules covering worker’s comp. but in most cases the employee only needs to be on the clock to be covered. May be some exclusion about act of God/nature but not sure about that angle. If that is the case you would think that is what his denial would have said.
So, this boils down to a few basic facts.
1. He opted for a career as a Social Worker (and if he didn’t know that Social Work isn’t a high paying field - he should give his diploma back - it ain’t no big secret).
2. He used his degree to take a job that pays slightly above minimum wage, and MADE THE CONSCIOUS CHOICE NOT TO ELECT TO TAKE MEDICAL INSURANCE.
3. Now that he’s hurt; he expects everyone else to take the hit - because he made a stupid decision to pass on getting medical insurance.
4. Can I stop paying $785/month for my family’s medical insurance program; and then demand that workman’s comp pay any bills if I get hurt?
In Texas, Worker's Comp is subject to strict limits per incident and per employee. The total amount of insured loss here used to be around $250,000 per claim per individual. According to the article, a quarter of a million would only make a down payment on the Mr. Lindquist's loss. That leaves Chapter 7 as his only viable alternative.
My guess is the carrier has properly refused to pay because other claims have exceeded policy limits. I would also guess that Lindquist's lawyers are challenging the insurance company because he is still accumulating charges and wants full discharge (which won't happen runs up costs "knowing" they cannot be settled except by bankruptcy).
Ultimately, the legal process will run its course, the medical providers will be stuck with the charges; they will raise their rates and/or receive public funds as compensation. The net result is that the taxpaying public will pay -- as always.
Meanwhile, this article is almost certainly nothing more than legal posturing (i.e. propaganda) repeated by opportunistic politicians and newswriters too stupid to know otherwise.
His medical insurance, if he had it, would deny the claim.
It happened on the job, while he was doing his job, at a task he was trained to take action on.
Funny. I was just thinking the same thing. This guy goes the hero route. Gets kicked in the ass. Meanwhile, that psycho "adult baby" gets to stay on SSI. Weird world.
The thing that gets me is... $2.5 MILLION dollars??? Yeah, I get it, the guy was busted up, but did he get a bionic limb as part of his treatment?
Took 23 posts to get to the heart of the matter. The hospital and doctors are running up the tab thinking that since he was on the job the company would pay.
I bet all the forms he filled out asked if he was on the job and, of course, he answered "yes".
They thought they could cover a lot of uninsured patients' debt by padding this tab.
I suppose the question will be how the state courts have interpreted the word ‘accident’. The state code is here http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C200-299/2870000120.HTM. Just because the injury occurs on the job, it may not be covered. If you have a heart attack at work, it may not be covered by workers comp since you probably would have had the heart attack even if you were not at work.
I never said they’d pay enough to cover his bills. Common limits here are $1,000,000.00 per occurrence with general liability required to cover any medical overage. Indemnity and disability are by formula, so I cannot speak to that.
$250,000? Used to be is right.