Posts tagged "1008017"

Benoit v. City of Boston (and a consolidated case) (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-080-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12204   BRIAN BENOIT  vs.  CITY OF BOSTON (and a consolidated case[1]).       Suffolk.     January 9, 2017. – May 16, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Workers’ Compensation Act, Compensation, Public employee, Decision of Industrial Accident Reviewing Board, Insurer.  Public Employment, Suspension, Worker’s compensation.  Municipal Corporations, Officers and employees.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 24, 2014.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Linda E. Giles, J.   Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 3, 2015.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Paul D. Wilson, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     John M. Becker for the plaintiff. David Susich (Thomas A. Pagliarulo also present) for the defendant.   LENK, J.  On September 5, 2011, after working almost twenty years as an emergency medical technician and paramedic for the defendant city’s emergency medical services (EMS), the plaintiff suffered an incapacitating ankle injury while transporting a patient.  Unable to work, he received workers’ compensation payments for almost one year pursuant to G. L. c. 152, the workers’ compensation act. Learning that the plaintiff had been indicted on October 31, 2012, on charges relating to misuse of controlled substances intended for EMS patients, the defendant suspended him indefinitely without pay pursuant to G. L. c. 268A, § 25 (suspension statute).  After the defendant, a self-insured municipal employer, discontinued the plaintiff’s workers’ compensation payments, he took the matter to the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA); the defendant was ordered to restore those payments. When the defendant did not comply with the DIA order, the plaintiff sought enforcement in the Superior Court pursuant to G. L. c. 152, § 12 (1).  The defendant argued then, as now, that the provision of the suspension statute requiring that suspended public employees “shall not receive any compensation or salary during the period of suspension” prevails over the requirements of the worker’s compensation act, and that the DIA order requiring proscribed payments should accordingly not be enforced.  A Superior Court judge agreed and dismissed the enforcement actions.[2]  We conclude that workers’ compensation benefits are not “compensation” as defined in the suspension statute, because they are not payments made “in return for services rendered.”  G. L. c. 268A, § 1 (a).  The Superior Court actions brought by […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - May 16, 2017 at 2:55 pm

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