DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Nearly six months after the on-duty death of Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey, his family is puzzled by a hold up in receiving insurance benefits from the company that insured the man who struck and killed him on Interstate 90.
Insurance companies were quick to OK settlements in the case. But Officer Fahey's family never got what was approved. The companies can't pay because the Bureau of Workers Compensation has placed a lien on the funds.
It boils down to something in the insurance industry called subrogation. Subrogation allows BWC to collect monies spent on Fahey's hospital charges because a third party is providing a settlement.
The fancy title aside CPPA President Steve Loomis and others call it something else. David's mom Jackie Ketterer says
"Dave is the victim, and they're victimizing the victim to me," Fahey's mom Jackie Ketterer said.
She was stunned when she was told the BWC wanted nearly $9000 in reimbursement for her son's treatment of the injuries that eventually ended his life. She questioned the Bureau and got nowhere.
A supervisor later agreed to settle for $2000.
"You want to talk about cold-hearted you know, there's no worse feeling in the world for this family to go through " Loomis said.
He isn't alone in his outrage, he got an important call after our story. The call was from Jay McDonald the Vice President of the National FOP.
"He's going to go down and rattle some cages for us in Columbus as well as Assemblyman Tom Patton who is absolutely livid over this," Loomis said.
The Bureau believes lowering its demand to $2000 was a sympathetic gesture toward the family. Loomis said he takes this personally.
"Law abiding citizens should be taking this personally. It is just reprehensible what they are doing to this family," Loomis said.
Ketterer recalled the conversation with a BWC supervisor.
"He's not doing anything until they get paid. They want their money." She quotes him as telling her "We need money from somebody before we release this claim."
The Bureau claims there is a form Jackie needs to sign, so they can get their money, release the lien and have the balance sent to Fahey's family.
Jackie has seen no such form. So for now closure remains elusive, but at least the issue is front and center.
Loomis summed up his thoughts.
"This is a very stupid fight to have, somebody better take care of it and they better take care of it very very quickly," Loomis said.
A City spokesman says the City of Cleveland has no part in the lien.