Archive for October, 2011

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Hero???s Insurance Claim Denied

Albuquerque Journal
October 24, 2011

Hero???s Insurance Claim Denied

Joplin storm severely injured man who saved three disabled patients
JOPLIN, Mo. ??? By all accounts, Mark Lindquist is a hero, an underpaid social worker who nearly gave his life trying to save three developmentally disabled adults from the Joplin tornado. Both houses of the Missouri legislature honored Lindquist, the Senate resolution calling him ???a true hero and inspiration to others.???
The tornado???s 200 mph winds tossed Lindquist nearly a block, broke every rib, obliterated his shoulder, knocked out most of his teeth and put him in a coma for about two months.
Lindquist, 51, ran up medical expenses that exceed $2.5 million, and the bills keep coming. He requires 11 daily prescriptions and will need more surgery.
But he has no medical insurance. Lindquist couldn???t afford it on a job paying barely above minimum wage. He assumed workers??? compensation would cover his bills, but his claim was denied ???based on the fact that there was no greater risk than the general public at the time you were involved in the Joplin tornado,??? according to a letter to Lindquist from Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, his company???s workers??? comp provider.
That reasoning has angered Lindquist???s family, employer, even lawmakers.
???I think they need to take another look at the circumstances and revisit the claim,??? state Rep. Bill Lant, R-Joplin, said. ???What he did went beyond heroics.???
Lindquist???s sister said the insurance company???s decision is unfathomable because if her brother hadn???t been at work, he wouldn???t have been hurt. He could also have jumped in his van and driven away from the group home as the tornado approached.
Lindquist said that thought never crossed his mind.