In Oct. 2017 I was injured while working for a roofing company in Oregon that failed to have workers compensation insurance. The accident caused my bicep to be torn, my shoulder rotator cuff to be damaged, my elbow to be damaged, as well as my wrist and carpal tunnel. I have also lost feeling in the two middle fingers. I informed the employer of the accident, I sought medical attention, I was referred to a specialist. This is where the current system has failed me.
See the employer claimed I never worked for him, so Sedgewick the third party agent for the uninsured workers compensation fund refused to help me. So I could not see a specialist. This means that I could not have my injuries completely diagnosed. Meanwhile I filed a complaint with the Workers Compensation Division they were supposed to respond and stat and investigation in 90 days. This also did not happen in fact it was almost 6 months before I was even contacted back all during that time I was calling weekly to see if anything had been started. Eventually a investigation was performed and with was found that indeed my employer at the time of injury did have employees that they had failed to purchase workers compensation for. I thought great now I will start getting the help I need so that I can get healed and get back to working. This could have not been further from the case. Instead the company ( Sedgewick ) which the state has contracted to manage these things again denied me any support or services saying that I was basically a liar and that I never worked for said company that lied to investigators and broke the law by failing to carry workers compensation in an industry (roofing) that is highly dangerous. I was thus forced to seek out an attorney and go to court.
It is here that I want to speak a bit about myself. I am part native american as well as jewish and even have some african american in the family tree. I served our nation in combat (Desert Storm) as well as have done lots of various charity work and other civil and civic service for our nation. There is a reason I want you to know this because of what happened in court and the behavior of the attorney who basically was representing the people of Oregon.
In court I was accused of being a Neo-Nazi and a liar by the attorney that Sedgewick had hired to represent itself and the Compensation fund for the State of Oregon. Even the judge was a bit angry about said behavior. Same said attorney was acting like the attorney for the company I was working for when I was injured. This caused the trial to be paused while the judge, my attorney, and said attorney met outside the court and had to figure out that said attorney was not the attorney for the company I worked for. Basically the outcome was that the Employer and Sedgewick were found to be wrong in denying me compensation and treatment and not creditable in their testimony. In essence they lack honor and integrity. Also not that the attorney for Sedgewick and the State basically asked why I did not go to the V.A. for treatment of my injuries and wanted to just pawn the responsibility of Sedgewick and the Uninsured Workers Compensation fund on the V.A. system as if it is not stretched and strained enough already. Even today veterans are dying because the V.A. lacks the funds to provide treatment. No it is the State and Sedgewicks responsibility to honor the law and provide compensation and treatment.
Sedgewick, and the State via the attorney turned around and immediately gave me an offer of $5000 for basically what equated to the loss of work for almost 2 years at the time and the loss of the use of my right arm which is my predominant arm. I viewed that as a slap in the face, so I refused it and so they immediately appealed to the Board of Review. Almost 9 months later I have again prevailed. With the Board of Review again saying that Sedgewick and my former employer lack credibility. It has now been over 2 ½ years that I have been unable to work. I have even been forced due to lack of finances to live off the help of family and friends and state aid. I have been forced to relocate to the State of Michigan because I was not able to support myself in Oregon any longer. An now your agent and representing attorney want to offer a mere $60,000.00 for over two and a half years of lost wages and work as well as 3 surgeries and recoveries that are estimated to cost over $80,000.00. By rough estimates my total loss of income and what it will cost me to recover at this point is well over the $350,000 mark and yet I get offered a mere $60,000.
My question is. Is this how the State of Oregon believes hardworking men and women should be treated when they are injured on the job and the Employer failed to have workers compensation? Is this how the State of Oregon believes its veterans should be treated? Is this how you would want any relative of yours treated if in the same situation? Is this how you would want your son or daughter treated?