Illinois Widow Sues Fire Department For Lost Sick Time

The widow of an Illinois firefighter who died of cancer in 2017, is suing the fire department he worked for to recoup the value of the sick leave he was forced to take while incapacitated due to his medical condition.

Joliet Fire Department Lieutenant Scott Carroll died on July 29, 2017 of myxoid liposarcoma. He became unable to work on October 14, 2016, and thereafter was forced to use his accrued sick leave supplemented by substitutions/shift trades by colleagues until the time of his death. Lt. Carroll was 38 when he passed.

According to the lawsuit, Mrs. Carroll alleges the city’s failure to cover Lt. Carroll’s incapacity as a work related injury violates the Illinois Public Employee Disability Act, which states that “whenever an eligible employee suffers any injury in the line of duty which causes him to be unable to perform his duties, he shall continue to be paid by the employing public entity on the same basis as he was paid before the injury, with no deduction from his sick leave credits …”

According to the Illinois patch, the lawsuit seeks “52 weeks of compensation pursuant to PEDA in the amount of $104,859 and pre-judgment interest at a rate of 6 percent per annum.” The suit also alleges: “Joliet has failed to pay PEDA benefits despite the medical evidence supporting the inability of Shawn Carroll to perform his duties from October 14, 2016 until his death (as) the result of the cumulative effects of his exposure to carcinogens from his service to the community as a firefighter.”

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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