A police union head is asking a judge to force the NYPD to give written explanations when it denies officers coverage for injuries they incur on the job.
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch filed the petition in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday against the NYPD because Lynch claims, they have a “practice of denying NYPD police officers…line of duty benefits without providing those Police Officers with any written reason or explanation for denying them this vital statutory benefit.”
When cops’ applications and appeals are turned down, it leaves them on the hook for co-pays and deductibles from their private insurance, makes them vulnerable to lawsuits and can affect future applications for disability retirement, the court documents argue.
Then when these same cops aren’t provided with explanations for these denials, they are left at a disadvantage when appealing, and the PBA takes on costs when investigating the reasons for the denials, the lawsuit claims.
“The PBA has uncovered mistakes by the NYPD in denying LOD [line of duty] applications, mistakes which would have otherwise gone uncorrected if the reasons for the denials had not been diligently pursued by the PBA,” the court papers claim.
The PBA made a formal demand to NYPD Deputy Inspector of the Medical Division Nicole Papamichael and Deputy Commissioner of Labor Relations John Beirne on March 12 for the NYPD to begin this practice, but it hasn’t yet received a response, the court documents say.
A police source said that officers can inquire by phone the reason for their benefits denial, which is preferred to a written explanation because of privacy concerns.
The suit names the city, the NYPD, Papamichael and Beirne as defendants.
A spokesperson with the Law Department said, “We will review the lawsuit once we are served.”
NYPD spokesman Phil Walzak said, “We will review the litigation.”
Additional reporting by Stephanie Pagonesb