When survivors of a terrorist attack get denied workers’ compensation benefits for medical and mental health care purposes, you can bet savvy attorneys will swoop in and take the companies and government agencies to task. Unfortunately, that appears to be exactly what is happening in lieu of the San Bernardino terrorist attacks nearly two years ago. The news didn’t sit well with county and state officials either.

“Myself and my co-workers are not asking for anything that we’re not entitled to or the doctors haven’t ordered,” said Valerie Kallis-Weber, who was shot in her shoulder and back in the Dec. 2, 2015 assault during the San Bernardino County Health Department training event and holiday party, to Southern California Public Radio.1

Workers’ Compensation Benefit Claim Denials and Details

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The following details and workers’ compensation benefit denials were gather from news reports of survivors and their plight to move forward after the terrifying attack:

  • One female survivor spent a total of three months in the hospital after the attack, and underwent 20 surgeries and five blood transfusions in just the first month.
  • San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert acknowledges that the survivor’s cases are extraordinary, but that the county has done its very best to accommodate them. However, he admits the county could have done more to assist survivor’s cases through the workers’ compensation system.
  • Even director of the California Department of Industrial Relations Christine Baker admitted that the county fell short of its duty to assist the survivors, saying: “In this situation, because of the major event and trauma and multiple people getting injured, they needed a little more attention to guiding the workers through that process.”
  • The county even hired an outside firm to help speed up the workers’ compensation claims for the survivors.
  • Survivors also alleged the claim reviews included doctor’s recommendation for medication, which is part of an effort to curb overprescribing opioids, unnecessary surgeries and fraud that cost taxpayers an estimate $3 billion annually, according to California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
  • One survivor’s doctor recommended a home health care worker for 12 hours a day to help bath, cook and help dress her. She never got the worker, and alleged her claims review administrator told her she wouldn’t need the home health care by the end of the month.
  • Many of the survivors required case workers to help advocate their needs.
  • Actually, many requests and recommendations that normally would have been approved were denied for the survivors.

Contact a Middlesex County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Mayo & Russ

Do you believe you or a loved one has been wrongly denied workers’ compensation benefits or a claim? If so, contact our Middlesex County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Mayo & Russ for legal assistance with teeth to cut to the chase of delayed and denied benefits and claims.

For more than 20 years, the trusted attorneys at Mayo & Russ have diligently fought for justice and the cause of those who cannot fight for themselves. Many times, those who have fallen ill or injured as a result of the workplace just need a strong advocate to help them get the benefits allowed by the law.

To learn more how our Middlesex County workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get the benefits you deserve under the law, call us at (732) 613-3100, toll free at (888) MAYO-LAW, or email our firm via the drop-down contact form at the top of this page. Your Initial consultation is free, and at Mayo & Russ we don’t charge any legal fees unless we secure you compensation for benefits.

Based in Middlesex County, the attorneys provide exceptionally high-quality legal services to clients in New Jersey and across the country.


1“San Bernardino survivors stymied by workers’ comp denials” published in KPCC News, December 2016.