An unnamed policeman infected with hepatitis during an undercover operation has finally gotten some support from the courts. The officer contracted the disease in Las Vegas between 2002-2004 while working undercover as a boxing corner man. The Police Pension Board denied the officer's original disability claim.
Judge Alice Schlesinger ripped the pension board for making a decision that she considers unlawful and unreasonable. The board denied the man an accidental disability retirement pension that would have given him 75 percent of his salary tax-free. The board, instead, granted him 75 percent of his salary while requiring him to pay the taxes.
The NYPD pension fund decided that the officer did not deserve the tax-free pension because there is no proof that he actually contracted the disease while working undercover.
The officer claims that he was exposed to hepatitis while working with boxers, who often get cut and bleed during their matches. According to the judge, the pension fund denied a litany of facts supporting the officer's claim.
Hepatitis is transmitted via body fluids, including blood.
When the officer received his rejection he immediately sued the department and the pension fund. He also sued Raymond Kelly, who is currently commissioner of the NYPD.
This ruling does not completely settle the matter. The NYPD could appeal. Judge Schlesinger, however, has said that she hopes the pension fund will reconsider its position and give the officer the disability coverage that he deserves.
The officer is trying to get a liver transplant because of damage caused by the disease.