MADISON, Ill. (KMOV.com) – A Metro East police officer injured on the job is in a battle with her employer to receive worker’s compensation.
Lauren Bauer, 29, of the Madison Police Department was injured more than a year ago during a pursuit. Her squad car was rammed back in February of 2015, resulting in spinal injuries. She was moving around after the accident, but as time went on, her injury worsened.
“I started to feel the pain in my neck and back and wound up having an ambulance take me to Barnes Jewish,” Bauer said. She went to see a spinal specialist who determined she had tears and intrusions in her spine and said surgery was needed. However, as part of her worker’s compensation claim, the City of Madison’s attorney chose their own doctor for Bauer to see.
“He examined me physically and stated I had zero injuries and was clear to return to work immediately,” she said. “(He said) the pain I was experiencing everyday would just vanish one day.” Not only that, but the doctor said he wasn’t a spinal doctor and hadn’t operated on a spine since 1982.
Bauer then chose to fight the case because she physically could not work and needed surgery. In light of this, the City of Madison threatened to terminate her and stopped paying her in June. In January 2016, Bauer learned an arbitrator denied her worker’s compensation claim for future medical care.
“For it to have gone on for more than a year now, it has taken a toll on my entire family,” Bauer said. “I’ve had to reach out for help when I’m used to being the one helping people.”
News 4 reached out to the City of Madison, but the mayor did not answer questions because he said it is a pending case.
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