OFFICER DENIED ACCIDENTAL DISABILITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS
Officer TGM sought accidental disability retirement benefits after he was injured slipping on a step while descending stairs at a crime scene.
Apparently, on the evening in question, the backyard area was dark, and there wasn’t sufficient illumination, and as he descended the stairs of a residence, failed to see that the bottom step was covered with wet leaves and thus slipped, fell, and injured his left leg and knee.
After his benefits request was rebuffed, TGM sought a formal review, and a Hearing Officer upheld the denial, finding that his injuries were an “inherent risk” of his work as a police officer. And that determination was upheld by the Comptroller’s Office.
When a special administrative review proceeding [pursuant to Article 78] was filed with the Albany County Supreme Court, the matter was transferred to the Appellate Division, Third Department, which agreed that, based on the record’s “substantial evidence,” the incident did not “constitute an accident within the meaning of the Retirement and Social Security Law.”
Because it shared the view that the police frequently encounter “hazardous conditions,” and that incidents of this sort are considered “inherent risks of the work,” the AD3 confirmed the denial of relief in the officer's favor.
That certainly was no accident.
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