Phoenix firefighters sue over injury benefits - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Phoenix firefighters sue over injury benefits

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PHOENIX -

Phoenix firefighters went to federal court and filed a lawsuit seeking money damages.

They're upset a company turned down their workers compensation claims.

These are people who eventually had the Industrial Commission of Arizona say yes, they were hurt on the job and yes, they deserve compensation benefits.

The lawsuit is about the harm they suffered getting turned down and waiting several years for their benefits.

Sometimes it happens -- fighting fires causes injuries.

"I went around the garage door to pull hose line through there.. entire garage roof collapsed smashed me to the ground," said Tim Hunter.

But according to this lawsuit, York Risk Services Group rejected his workers compensation claim for two herniated discs in his neck.

"It is horrible.. it is wrong.  I would never imagine anyone would allow this to happen to us," he said.

Laurie Miller hurt her knee practicing mountain rescues for the fire department, but says York claimed she had a pre-existing injury.

"For me in particular, this was a two year process.. lawyer fees, I lost my house, 9-year-old son.. had to move.. it was bad."

According to the firefighters, this was not a case of negligence. It wasn't a bunch of mistakes. What it was instead was an ongoing scheme as it says in the lawsuit to delay and deny timely payment of critically needed workers compensation money.

"These men and women are paid to protect us and when they needed help, York wasn't there for them..  they did not get the protection they deserved," said attorney Kevin Wein.

We reached out to York Risk Services to get the company's side of the story, but have not heard back from them.

The fire department is self-insured by the city of Phoenix.  York Risk Services' job is to make sure the city only pays legitimate worker's comp claims.

Eight firefighters and one survivor of a deceased Phoenix firefighter are filing this suit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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