Off-duty California deputies who responded to Vegas shooting file comp claimsPosted On: Oct. 19, 2017 2:32 PM CST
Four off-duty sheriff deputies from California have filed workers compensation claims after responding to the shooting in Las Vegas mass shooting on Oct. 1 and getting injured, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs confirmed on Thursday.
The deputies are employed by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and were attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival when a gunman fired into the crowd from the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel, killing 59 people and wounding 546, according to media reports.
Photos published by the Orange County Register newspaper and owned by Getty Images show two of the Orange County deputies helping Las Vegas police officers on the scene.
A spokeswoman for the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs confirmed Thursday that the claims were filed for both physical and psychological injuries and that the Orange County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday in closed session to discuss the claims. The association has not heard any response from the board.
An official with the board could not be reach for comment on Thursday.
The association provided Business Insurance with a statement prepared for the board, which highlights the legal code the association argues could make a case for such claims for injuries that occurred out of state and while off duty.
The association’s interpretation states “the public policy of encouraging off duty peace officers to utilize their specialized training in the protection of life and property” despite the incident occurring out of state.
“Ultimately, this issue may face litigation since some cities and counties will simply contend since the injury occurred out of state in Nevada, the claim is not covered. We believe the issue is not as clear as these cities and counties may argue. Rather (the law) is ambiguous in terms of qualifying the specific actions taken by the off duty officer. It is our opinion, the ‘protection or preservation of life and property’ has no limitation and the officers who dared to give their life to render aid in order to protect life should be covered under the workers’ compensation laws of California. Lastly, where the law is vague, the legislature has instructed the courts to liberally construe workers’ compensation statutes in favor of injured workers,” the statement reads.