In an opinion published earlier this month, Flaherty v. Sheriff of Suffolk County, Mass. Sup. Jud. Ct. (2014), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had before it the issue of how assault pay for injured officers interacts with workers’ compensation benefits under Massachusetts Law.
The employee in the case, Flaherty, was working as a Suffolk County correction officer, when he was injured as a result of prisoner violence. The Department of Industrial Accidents found that he was partially disabled, and as a result awarded him workers’ compensation benefits, culminating in a lump sum settlement at the end of a several year period, which was agreed to. Flaherty then filed a claim in Superior Court at the end of the period, claiming that the Commonwealth was required to compensate him with assault pay during the period he had been receiving the workers’ compensation benefits.