Paterson pays out almost $600,000 to settle workers compensation claims | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Paterson pays out almost $600,000 to settle workers compensation claims

By Jayed Rahman
Published: September 25, 2015

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The city council approved $571,413 to settle 30 workers compensation claims during a special deliberation session on Tuesday evening.

The largest claim of $77,200 was paid out to police officer Stephen Iacuzzovs who suffered injuries on January 9th, 2013 while jumping over a fence at Eastside High School in pursuit of a suspect, according to city records.

The second largest claim of $56,923 was paid out to public works employee Ismael Bezares who injured his left shoulder while pushing a log into a pay loader on June 23rd, 2009, according to city records. He also suffered injuries to his right hand and elbow while operating a chainsaw on June 14th, 2011.

Bezares’s claim also included an incident from January 8th, 2013, in which he injured his right hand while pulling a branch, according to municipal records.

The third largest claim of $38,345 was paid out to public works employee Juan Castadena who injured his lower back while operating a leaf blower and lifting objects on September 26th, 2009. He also injured his knee from pushing barrels on Park Avenue on November 26th, 2012.

The rest of the cases are as follows:
•    Firefighter Anthony Magna received $3,500 due to pulmonary disability that he incurred due to fumes, chemical, and dust exposure as a city firefighter from December 1987 through January 2013.
•    Public works employee Tom Charlot received $3,825 as a result of injuries he suffered to his right middle finger while trying to close a tailgate on a public works dump truck on April 25th, 2014, according to city records.
•    Public works employee Cleveland Cunningham was paid $10,350 due to injuries he sustained to his foot from a sledgehammer drop on January 17th, 2014.
•    Police officer Anthony Petrozzuolo, who suffered injuries to both ears, head, suffered hearing loss and tinnitus when a gun was discharged near his left ear on September 1st, 2012, received $16,200.
•    Seaford Harriot, a city mason, was paid $17,500 as a result of injuries to his right hand from a cinderblock fall on July 25th, 2013. He was injured his neck, lower back, when a vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended, according to city records.
•    Public works employee Norman Golson was paid $17,590 as a result of a September 9th, 2013 incident in which he suffered back injuries when a shelf broke and signs fell on him, according to city records.
•    Public works employee Gregory Alston received $18,459 due to a May 22nd, 2012 incident when he injured his back and right hip lifting garbage cans. He injured his head on December 15th, 2012 as a result of a fall on a curb.
•    Police officer Robert Mercado received $20,745 due to a laceration he received when he was struck in the head with an object while making an arrest on August 18th, 2011.  He also was injured his left thumb on November 10th, 2013 in a violent struggle during an arrest.
•    Firefighter John Candelo received $35,342 as a result of a September 4th, 2008 incident when he injured his left leg when he fell carrying a ladder.
•    A city health department employee Miriam De Jesus got $36,954 after she injured her right shoulder on October 25th, 2015 while driving a bus for the division of senior services.
•    Public works employee Louis Alexander was paid $14,659 after he injured his right knee and back when a vehicle’s driver – blinded by sun glare — struck him as he was cleaning the sidewalk on Market and Mill Streets on May 4th, 2013.
•    Police officer Michael Ventrella received $24,774 for December 9th, 2011 case when he injured his right knee and left hamstring attempting to hold up a drunkard on East 19th Street, according to city record.
•    Public works driver Frank Robinson was paid $5,000 due to injuries he suffered on January 29th, 2014 when his truck slid into a pole due to icy road condition causing a cervical sprain, according to city records.
•    Police officer Erik Diaz received $22,867 due to injuries he received on February 24th, 2012, when a speeding driver side swiped his car on Main Street. His left hand was injured. On September 19th, 2013, Diaz injured his left foot and leg while chasing a burglary suspect on Mill Street.
•    Police officer Kenan Tuncel was paid $4,134 for right wrist and right hand injuries he received on May 27th, 2014 while restraining a prisoner.
•    Public works employee Andre Francis received $9,433. He injured his right wrist which was caught in the garbage on 23rd Avenue on July 15th, 2013.
•    Firefighter Ryan Higgins was paid $10,120 for a September 6th, 2013 incident in which he injured his right foot in training outside the track at Eastside High School.
•    Firefighter got $2,953 due to injured he received to his right thumb at a Totowa Avenue fire scene on April 20th, 2014 when glass penetrated his glove to cut him.
•    Police detective Edgar Taylor received $37,644 due to injuries he received on March 17th, 2013 to his right shoulder while arresting a suspect on Straight Street and Getty Avenue.
•    Public works employee Bobby Miles was paid $20,250 due to injuries he received on April 16th, 2014 when he injured his lower back and pelvis in an accident on Ellison and Summer Streets.
•    Police officer Juan Lubrani received $5,000 as a result of a June 27th, 2013 incident on Madison and 7th Avenues where he injured his back.
•    Police officer John Gonzalez received $22,500 for injuries he sustained while struggling with a prisoner in police cell block on July 17th, 2010. He hurt his back when another vehicle struck his city car on May 31st, 2012 on Madison and Getty Avenues. He suffered injuries a third time on March 15th, 2013 on North 9th Street     when he fell down the steps due to a broken step injuring his back and right hip, according to city records.
•    Police detective Marvin Sykes received $5,000 for injuries he received on July 8th, 2008 when a tractor trailer rear ended him on Route 80 east.
•    Police officer Erika Otero got $8,000 for left hand injury she suffered during a car accident on April 3rd, 2010. She also injured her left knee while exiting a patrol car on December 20th, 2012.
•    Police officer Jose Torres got $7,500. He suffered injuries to his neck, back, left shoulder, and right knee when a suspect’s vehicle struck his on North 4th Street on April 5th, 2013.
•    Police officer Gary Destefano received $4,000 for a knee injury he received while directing traffic on River Street on March 14th, 2011 after a car struck him on. He injured his knee while chasing a suspect on February 7th, 2012.
•    Public works employee Mirtha Perez got $14,648 for injuries from an October 5th, 2012 incident. She injured her leg at city hall from falling down the stairs.

Council members deliberated with the city’s law director Domenick Stampone and risk manager Samir Goow behind closed doors after which they approved the settlements without any public discussions.


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