A Colorado police officer was fired by the Lone Tree Police Department after being injured in a car accident, one that was possibly caused by a seizure.
41-year-old Robert Chamberlain was responding to a burglary call last month when he was involved in a car accident, one that left him in a two-day coma with a brain bleed and five fractured vertebrae.
“I was bleeding from my mouth and I was unresponsive,” said Chamberlain, who said doctors believed he had suffered a seizure prior to the accident.
After eight days in the hospital and a total of three months to recover, Chamberlain was eager to come back to work on temporary light duty- only to discover he had been sacked.
“Because your Family Medical Leave Act has long since been exhausted and you area unable to return to full duty at this time or the immediate future, we can no longer hold your position vacant,” the termination letter read.
As of yesterday, the family’s health insurance was cut off, leaving Chamberlain “baffled” as to why the department would take such a sudden and severe action.
“I feel like they don’t want to pay his medical bills and they just don’t want the liability,” his wife, Shanna Chamberlain, said.
Mrs. Chamberlain added that LTPD has three other officers on light duty, even though not all of them incurred on-the-job injuries.
“I think they all deserve (light-duty assignment), but we definitely deserve it for somebody who was on-duty and injured,” she said.
During his time in recovery, Chamberlain managed to muster the strength to go to the funeral of three fallen police officers. Despite a decade of service with LTPD, he was not prepared to be abandoned by them.
“I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen my husband cry,” his wife said.
According to KDVR, the city’s communications manager said: “Information regarding workers’ compensation claims, and on-duty and off-duty injuries are considered personnel and medical issues, which are confidential. Therefore, we cannot disclose any details on this matter.”
Chamberlain was given eight months of leave in total- three for the car accident and five for trauma sustained after he had found a suicide victim. In the latter case, he claims he was ready to go back to work almost immediately after but was not permitted until he was cleared by a doctor.
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