Michigan-based Accident Fund Insurance Company of America now says it will honor the workers’ compensation claims for a man injured during the tornado outbreak in Joplin, Mo., earlier this year.
Mark Lindquist, a social worker, nearly gave his life trying to save three developmentally disabled adults from the Joplin tornado, the Associated Press reported.
The tornado’s 200 mph winds tossed Lindquist nearly a block, broke every rib, obliterated his shoulder, knocked out most of his teeth and put him in a coma for about two months, according to the AP.
Lindquist, 51, ran up medical expenses that exceed $2.5 million, and the bills keep coming.
Lindquist has no medical insurance and assumed workers’ compensation insurance would cover his medical bills, but Accident Fund denied coverage.
The company says its initial decision to deny Lindquist’s claim was based on Missouri workers’ compensation laws, which limit recovery for injuries received during a tornado to situations where the employee was subjected to a greater harm than that of the general public.
Accident Fund initially found that Lindquist did not face a greater risk than the general public at the time of his involvement the Joplin tornado. The insurer says it has revisited the case and changed its determination.
“Upon further review of the case, and receiving additional information on the facts involved in this situation, Accident Fund believes the appropriate decision is to honor Mr. Mark Lindquist’s claim for worker’s compensation benefits,” stated Mike Britt, president of Accident Fund Insurance Company of America in a statement released by the insurer. “We are committed to working with Mr. Lindquist to ensure he receives all the benefits to which he is entitled and helping him to recover from his injuries.”
Both houses of the Missouri legislature have honored Lindquist, the Senate resolution calling him “a true hero and inspiration to others,” the AP reported.
Sources: Accident Fund, Associated Press