Disability benefits are denied for policeman, former officer

February 03, 1994

An Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge denied disability benefits yesterday to an Annapolis police officer and a former officer who said they were unable to work after being injured on the job.

Judge H. Chester Goudy Jr. upheld rulings by the Annapolis Public Safety Disability Retirement Board, which denied benefits in 1992 to Officer Leslie S. Collins and Katharine A. Wheeler.

Judge Goudy said the evidence at a hearing Tuesday showed that Officer Collins, a 13-year veteran assigned to light duty, is disabled, but that he failed to prove the disability could be traced directly to job-related injuries.

Officer Collins had argued that he injured his back and neck while trying to subdue one suspect in 1984 and another in 1990.

Ms. Wheeler who had been with the department for nine years when she left in 1990, had argued that she injured her right shoulder, right arm, her neck and back while trying to subdue a suicidal patient at Anne Arundel General Hospital on July 6, 1989.

In an opinion signed yesterday, Judge Goudy said he based his rejection of Ms. Wheeler's claim on the findings of Dr. Howard Goldstein, who said that although Ms. Wheeler showed symptoms of "spinal scarring," the injuries could have resulted from "a long-standing problem unrelated to her work."

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