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County to consider settlement with injured ex-employee

By Staff | Jan 15, 2015

After more than seven years of court battles and lawsuits, the Board of County Commissioners could finally put to rest a legal battle with a former Lee County worker over an injury sustained while on the job in 2007.

The BOCC will consider at its meeting Tuesday a settlement with Carol Quinn, a former worker with Lee County Animal Services who was injured while attempting to help a dog and was forced to leave her position as a result of those injuries.

The case has been costly for Lee County. If approved, it will pay Quinn $308,476 in the settlement, on top of other costs the county has had to pay up until this point, which have totaled more than $1 million.

On Sept. 5, 2007, Quinn was removing a rope from a dog’s neck, after which it immediately attempted to run away from her, according to agenda paperwork provided by the county. As she sought to keep the animal under control, the sudden jerking movement caused injury to her shoulder and neck.

She ultimately had surgery and was given permanent restrictions. As a result, Quinn was unable to return to her position as an animal control officer with the county and continues to be treated for her condition. Quinn is now on permanent disability.

A final hearing for permanent total disability (PTD) was held Jan. 30, 2012 and an order granting PTD was received on March 15, 2013, awarding benefits retroactive from Feb. 7, 2011.

The county has fought the claim, saying Quinn had failed to adequately seek other work, a claim Quinn’s attorney, Bill Berke, has refuted.

The county will meet its self-insurance retention and as such the county’s excess insurance carrier will reimburse Lee County all amounts above such retention.

Bill Berke, Quinn’s attorney, had no comment. Calls to commissioners Brian Hamman and John Manning were not returned by press time.