On Friday July 21st, Connecticut’s Medical Examining Board overturned its previous denial and granted a Connecticut police officer, represented by Attorney Tim Fitzpatrick of Fitzpatrick Mariano Santos & Sousa, her service connected disability retirement (“pension”).
In February 2013, Officer suffered a torn meniscal injury to her right knee. Following the first surgery, twenty percent of the meniscus was removed and the tear was repaired. However, after an MRI, an additional tear was discovered and a second surgery performed. After the operations, Officer attempted to return to full duty as a police officer, but was unable due to continuous pain and structural damage to the knee ligaments.
In its initial decision of April 1, 2016, the Board, which comprises of three physicians appointed by Governor Malloy, unanimously voted (3-0) to deny the Officer’s pension. The Board questioned the presence of a pre-existing injury and opined that the injury could improve with treatment. Under Connecticut law, the Officer had one opportunity to appeal the decision, before the same Board of physicians, in Hartford.
Following opening statements by Attorney Fitzpatrick and testimony from Officer, the Board unanimously (3-0) voted to overturn its denial and grant her pension.
When asked about her experience, Officer stated: “When I first came to Attorney Fitzpatrick, I was lost, just having been denied my pension. I felt that my lawyer previously had done very little to help me through the legal process and I was skeptical that anything would be different with a new lawyer. However, I heard from many people that Attorney Fitzpatrick and everyone else in his firm were good lawyers and that they cared about the outcomes that their clients received. As it turns out, all I had heard was true. From the first phone call until the appeal, Attorney Fitzpatrick and his staff were with me the entire way. They helped me to understand every step that needed to be accomplished and pushed me to move forward regardless of the outcome. I always felt that I was being helped and that they cared. I am grateful for all of the time and effort that was put into my case and I honestly do not know where I would be today without this Firm.”
Attorney Tim Fitzpatrick commented: “The essential functions of a police officer are heavily dependent on physical health. If an Officer has been injured in the course of duty and cannot perform those functions, she not only deserves benefits, she is entitled to them. It has been a long four years since Officer sustained this injury, with countless hours of physical therapy, strengthening programs, and two surgeries. On Friday, the Doctors of the Board analyzed the evidence and recognized that Officer did everything in her power to return to full duty, but was unable due to structural damage in her knee. It was an honor representing Officer and we agree with the Board’s decision to overturn its previous ruling.”
Congratulations to Officer and Attorney Fitzpatrick for a successful ruling!