Paralyzed medic wins fight with insurance coverage business, vows to ditch wheelchair by daughter's graduation

Myers belonged for the group of Americans who operate as private contractors overseas. They're not a part of the military, not eligible for the advantages given to soldiers or Marines who're injured. Instead, the private corporation is essential by federal law to provide them private insurance.

Myers argued his insurance coverage organization was intentionally delaying his claim, hoping he would settle for a fraction of what he deserved. Turns out, he's not the only 1 making that kind of allegation. We located other folks across the nation -- some who testified ahead of Congress -- accusing various insurance firms of pulling the identical trick, the businesses arguing the injury didn't truly take place inside a so-called Zone of Special Danger.

Contemplate Myers' case. His company had a contract using the U.S. State Division. Myers was a medic, assigned to guard vital diplomats like Condeleeza Rice and John Kerry. He normally worked in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His injury took place in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Israel. Though coaching to get a PT test in 2014, a freak wave sent Myers crashing towards the bottom, then hurled his body for the shore. When he regained consciousness two days later in the hospital, he could not move his legs or arms. He was a quadriplegic.

He filed for advantages, and for a when his insurance coverage corporation paid for rehab at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. But in 2015, the enterprise dropped coverage, arguing that Myers definitely wasn't injured on the job but although he was off duty. Plus, the lawyer for Allied Planet National Assurance argued it shouldn't must pay simply because Israel was not inside the essential Zone of Particular Danger like Iraq or Afghanistan.

"I was injured preparing for any PT test which was a job requirement due to the fact if I didn't pass it, I would have already been sent household for getting unphysically fit," argued Myers. He had to take his employer, International Development Solutions, along with the insurance carrier to federal court.
That was in March. When we met Myers, he was spending practically all of his time confined to a wheelchair in his Woodstock house, missing important rehab time for the reason that he could not afford it. Immediately after our original report aired, the Shadow Warriors Project arranged for Myers to resume his rehab at the Shepherd Center. The charity is created up of other former independent contractors like a number of the survivors depicted inside the film "13 Hours."

He was capable to create progress, meticulously lifting his correct arm and supporting himself using the help of a walker and Shepherd therapist.

In late October, the courts ruled, awarding Myers every little thing he asked for. He said he received roughly $145,000 in backpay, plus $1346 every week indefinitely. And all his previous and future medical bills are to be paid by the insurance enterprise.

Judge Monica Markley wrote "Claimant was required to routinely carry equipment and body armor in excess of seventy pounds."

And this: "Given the solitary and physically demanding nature of Claimant's activity, I discover that Claimant's injury occurred whilst he was engaged in workout to prepare himself for his job duties along with the position's physical fitness examinations."

"That was an amazing day," admitted Myers.

And that indicates a minimum of 4 hours every day, twice per week, Willie Myers will not be stuck in his den. He'll be in the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, organizing his subsequent mission: getting a superb seat for his daughter's higher college graduation May well 23, 2017.

"Put it this way," Myers explained. "My purpose just isn't to take a wheelchair to her graduation."
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