The widow of a Massachusetts police officer says the stress of the job led her husband to take his own life in 2006. The police officer had been injured during an overtime shift in 1993 and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder the following year. Despite signs that the officer was crumbling under the stress, he was cleared for duty after a psychiatric evaluation.
His widow took her case to the state retirement board, which ruled that her husband’s death was “accidental,” meaning she would get 72% of his pension. Had he been killed in the line of duty, she would have gotten 100% of his pension, plus a one-time payment of almost $100,000. While the ruling does create a connection between the officer’s on-the-job injuries and his eventual suicide, his widow wants her husband’s death to be ruled “line of duty.” She would also like his name to be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
Suicide among police officers is a major issue that results in more deaths than homicides or accidents at work.
Source: The police suicide problem, Boston Sunday Globe Magazine, January 24, 2010
If you have lost a family member due to work-related injuries, then please contact our Massachusetts wrongful death lawyers for a free initial case evaluation.