Metro-East News

District to reimburse workers’ comp claims

The St. Clair County Transit District will now reimburse the county for workers’ compensation claims from sheriff’s officials providing security on MetroLink.
The St. Clair County Transit District will now reimburse the county for workers’ compensation claims from sheriff’s officials providing security on MetroLink.

In June 2012, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Sergeant Daniel Stockett, while providing security at the Fifth and Missouri MetroLink stop in East St. Louis, had to run after a suspect deputies eventually apprehended.

During the chase, Stockett had to climb a fence, an action that lacerated his right hand.

The injury left Stockett with a permanent partial disability in his right hand, according to documents released by St. Clair County. Because of Stockett’s injury, the county paid a $17,829 workers’ compensation settlement for the injury he had while working security for Metro.

He missed a few weeks of work, but he still is assigned to MetroLink security.

In the future, workers’ compensation claims of sheriff’s personnel working MetroLink security will be picked up the St. Clair County Transit District.

Under a new agreement with the St. Clair County Transit District, workers’ compensation claims for sheriff’s department personnel working MetroLink security will be paid for by the transit district before the county’s workers’ compensation insurance kicks in.

The county’s insurance would kick in for amounts higher than $350,000 per occurrence, said Frank Bergman, manager of the Payroll/Personnel and Insurance Department for the county.

Debra Moore, the interim director of administration for the county, said the deal is good for the county.

“(The transit district) will be reimbursing St. Clair County for sheriff’s deputies that are a part of their security teams,” Moore said at a recent finance committee meeting. “It is no longer our burden, and they will reimburse up to the amount that we pay before the insurance kicks in.”

Under the arrangement, the county agreed to defend in good faith workers’ compensation claims brought by deputy sheriffs performing work on MetroLink.

Metro contracts with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office for security at MetroLink stations and on the light-rail cars east of the Mississippi River. The St. Clair County Transit District contracts with Bi-State Development Agency to run Metro service in St. Clair County.

County officials have said there have been several large workers’ compensation claims in the past.

Previously the transit district did not reimburse the county for the worker’s compensation claims performing work on MetroLink.

“It was bad for us,” Moore said.

Phone calls to transit district officials were not immediately not returned.

Contact reporter Joseph Bustos at jbustos@bnd.com or 618-239-2451. Follow him on Twitter: @JoeBReporter.

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