The family of a firefighter who died as a result of injuries he sustained while at a fire scene will receive $348,000 and $773 per week in workers compensation settlement, according to resolution approved by the city council in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday night.
The firefighter, Scott Rogow, fell down stairs while working at a fire and injured his lower back on July 6th, 2009, according to city records. He retired on a disability pension in 2011 after two decades of service to the city’s fire department. An Emerson resident, he later died on August 28th, 2012 at the age of 49 leaving behind his wife and three children, according to an obituary published at the time.
Rogow’s wife Lynne Rogow and two children Jenna Rogow and Tyler Rogow will receive $40,196 per a year for life as part of the settlement. Each will receive $257.67 per week, according to city records.
Benefits will continue for the two children until they turn 18. If the two children are enrolled as full-time students in college their benefits will end at age 23, according to city records.
Lynne Rogow, who works as a clerk in the city, will continue receiving her portion the weekly payments for the duration of her life.
Council members approved the settlement on Tuesday night during a closed-door special meeting.
The council is prohibited from taking actions on measures during a closed meeting by the Open Public Meetings Act. In this instance, the council entered into a closed-session, but failed to indicate it had exited the executive session to several members of the public outside of the council chamber.
Law director Domenick Stampone said he was doing various things and could not signal to the public the council had exited its closed session. He also noted a clerk from the City Clerk’s Office generally opens the door to the council chamber when the council comes out of its executive session.
City clerk Sonia Gordon said she thought everyone had left.
Stampone said the council could vote again on all measures approved at the special meeting if a judge were to rule the city violated the Open Public Meetings Act.