Calif. deputies injured while helping during Vegas shooting denied workers comp

LAS VEGAS - California deputies who were injured when they jumped into action during the Las Vegas Strip shooting have been denied worker's compensation back in their state.

Officials with Orange County say their hands are tied because of state law, but the matter may be headed to court.

"These deputies were there obviously on their own time, but they did what was expected of them," said Tom Dominguez, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs.

Dominguez says four deputies represented by the union were injured during the massacre, at least one of them was shot. 

However, all four deputies' workers compensation claims have been denied by orange county.

"We feel it's unfortunate that the County of Orange has denied workers comp claims from these four deputies who put their lives on the line in Las Vegas," said Dominguez.

California state law says off-duty peace officers are entitled to workers compensation if they're injured protecting life or property anywhere in the state.  The law doesn't clarify what happens when these actions occur out of state.

If these claims are approved, California taxpayers would be on the hook for medical expenses and time off.

However, Dominguez believes the lack of clarification doesn't mean the injured deputies should not be covered.

"We believe California law makes no distinction of state lines," said Dominguez.  "We don't believe police officers should have to make that distinction when a terrorist attack or a massacre like in Las Vegas occurs. They shouldn't have to.

The union plans to move forward with litigation, providing legal representation to the deputies involved.

In the meantime, other California jurisdictions are also facing the same issue and could potentially face lawsuits for rejecting similar claims.

8 News NOW reached out to Orange County officials multiple times but never heard back.

The union representing Metro Police officers here, says off-duty law enforcement officers who helped out during the shooting will be compensated.

Aside from officer Charleston Hartfield who was killed, the union is not aware of any other off-duty officers who were injured the night of the 1 October shooting.
 


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