December 31, 2010

Police officer’s September 11 line of duty injury claim rejected

Police officer’s September 11 line of duty injury claim rejected
Matter of Teran v Kelly, 2007 NY Slip Op 30009(U), March 1, 2007, Supreme Court, New York County, Docket Number: 0109358, Judge: Marcy S. Friedman [Not selected for inclusion in the Official Reports]

Teran, a New York City police officer, was performing routine police duties while the City was undergoing a citywide emergency as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. She applied for accidental disability retirement benefits claiming that she had suffered a “line-of-duty accident.”

Although Teran’s psychotherapist, Robert Driscoll, submitted a letter in which he stated that Teran was suffering symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder brought on by her duties in connection with the events of September 11, 2001, the Police Department’s expert said that “there was no [sic] evidence to support the claim of [Teran’s] psychotherapist that [Teran’s] injuries were the result of her work in connection with the events of September 11, 2001.”*

Supreme Court Justice Marcy S. Friedman concluded that Teran’s claim of entitlement to accident disability retirement was supported neither by the facts nor by any legal authority.

Further, said the court, contrary to Teran’s claim, Administrative Code 3 13-252.1, which sets out a presumption of accidental disability for police officers injured during their participation in World Trade Center rescue, recovery or clean-up efforts, does not apply to Teran, as she was not involved in any of the World Trade Center rescue, recovery or clean-up efforts at the time.

* The decision states that Teran “was sent home just after the attacks because she was pregnant. [Teran] did not witness the attacks on the World Trade Center or the collapse of the buildings, and she did not participate in any rescue or recovery work at the World Trade Center site after September 11.”

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