Approximately 12 months ago, our only employee visited a Dr. and without any previous notice to us, reported an injury sustained at least 3 months prior to that visit. During the months between the date the injury was claimed to have occurred and the first Dr.’s visit, the employee showed up each and every day for work, hauling rock, shoveling, mowing, etc., and did not once report that there was an ongoing issue of pain or discomfort. The indication for how the injury was sustained was physically not possible. The STATE investigator agreed and the claim for workers compensation was DENIED!
A series of events took place following the claim and initial denial; we found out we were required to have separate insurance for workers claims (we were not aware this was required of us due to our seasonal business; we are now and have the appropriate insurance), the employee appealed (they had nothing to lose) and instead of going into mitigation (which we were willing to do because we felt so strongly about this situation and agreed with the denial), the state decided to settle (our hands were tied) and we ended up with a bill for $18,000 which provides the employee an amount for their medical bills, pain and suffering, along with the employee’s attorney fees and other penalties and interest. Every attorney we talked to…but could not hire because the state was running this show, felt that we had a strong case and could have won in mediation.
If we could write a check for $18,000 today and put this behind us, we certainly would. Our lives are not extravagant, bottom line is we just don’t have $18,000 sitting in a bank account to pay this off. In fact, we are concerned that the expected monthly payment the state has set (without allowing us any opportunity to discuss), is much higher than we can afford, and without one payment even due or missed yet, the state has already informed us their next steps would be to pull our business license and start to harass us and lay claim to our property (none of that makes sense since we need to keep working to pay their bill).
We know in comparison our situation is better than many. We have our health, our friends and our family and for that we are thankful, however, we thought we would take a leap of faith and ask for help. We promise to pay it forward in the best way that we can to our family, friends, community and others. I’m starting by asking our friends and family to help support Paul. If we had 3,600 people contribute $5.00 each, we could walk a check into the state and move on from this life changing event.
Thank you for any support you can provide and for passing along our story to your network of family and friends!
Erica and Paul Lindsley
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