Disabled Missouri Firefighter Must Be Compensated in Full

A Missouri firefighter who was severely injured in 2006 at a fatal fire, has prevailed in a suit to continue earning her full pay while recuperating from her injuries.

Cindy Schuenke, 50, was a firefighter paramedic with the Community Fire Protection District. She was severely injured at a fire on March 29, 2006. The department fired her in July 2008, but end up reinstating her in September 2008. Schuenke was fired a second time in August 2009, prompting her to file suit in circuit court.

The suit claimed that the collective bargaining agreement in effect at the time of her injury required the department to continue her full pay for the duration of her disability, less any amounts received under workers compensation. In November, 2013 the circuit court agreed and ordered Schuenke reinstated.

The Community FPD appealed and in a ruling issued this week, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District affirmed the circuit court’s ruling.

I was not able to locate the actual ruling, and will post it here if/when it is available. Here is the one document I did locate: Opinion_EDOrder-11-04-2014

Here is more on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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