Scores of firefighters have filed claims against the city of San Jose alleging that they were refused medical care that they had a right to. The claims have been filed by a total of 68 firefighters, beginning in late 2014.
The firefighters say that Athens Administrators, a private company hired by the San Jose to process 50 percent of the city’s workers compensation claims, inappropriately rejected workers’ compensation claims for medical treatment that the firefighters both required and had a right to.
Athens Administrators says that they were only adhering to specific guidelines given them by the state of California when they denied the claims. The city disagreed, and officials awarded 70 out of the 74 firefighters the benefits they requested.
The California Professional Firefighters organization, which advocates on behalf of over 30,000 firefighters in the state of California, says that the problems encountered in San Jose are exemplary of a much bigger issue. Injured firefighters are being improperly denied benefits throughout the state, the organization says. After hearing from numerous injured firefighters who have been denied medical benefits, the CFP sent surveys to its local affiliates throughout the state, and the responses were overwhelmingly indicative of how broken the system is.
Workers who have been denied employee benefits in the state of California can take their cases to be reviewed by an employee benefits attorney to determine if they have been improperly denied benefits. An experienced attorney will be able to tell injured employees whether legal strategies can be employed on the injured workers’ behalf in order to pursue a more favorable outcome in their cases.
Source: NBC Bay Area, “Dozens of Injured San Jose Firefighters Denied Workers’ Comp Treatment,” Liz Wagner, Michael Bott and Jeremy Carroll, Aug. 14, 2016