Detective Investigator to Receive Benefits in Excess of $9,000


New York, New York October 22, 2001 - New York State’s Appellate Division, Second Department, unanimously overturned a Kings County Supreme Court Judge and awarded Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Detective Investigator Gregory Deboer line of duty injury pay.

Deboer suffered severe injuries while effecting an off duty arrest of three perpetrators. His injuries required surgery and rendered him unable to return to duty for four months.

Deboer requested both workers compensation and line of duty benefits injury under General Municipal Law Section 207-c for his injuries. Although the workers compensation application was granted, the Kings County District Attorney’s Office denied line of duty injury benefits and Deboer’s request for an evidentiary hearing.

Koehler & Isaacs LLP, filed an Article 78 petition challenging the denial of benefits in May of 2000. The Supreme Court Judge denied the petition ruling that Deboer’s injuries were not in the line of duty because the arrest was an “off duty” arrest.

Richard Koehler, of Koehler & Isaacs LLP, argued the appeal of the Judge’s decision before the Second Department stating that Detective Investigators perform line of duty functions when they effectuate an arrest even if that arrest occurs while technically “off duty.” Mr. Koehler asked the court to look past the technicality and recognize that, having been granted the responsibility of making arrests either on or off regular tours of duty, the law must reflect that all arrests are within the line of duty.

The Second Department agreed and expressly found that the lower court judge erred in his definition of “line of duty.” As a result, Deboer was awarded line of duty injury benefits retroactive to February 21, 2000, an amount in excess of $9,000.00. An elated Deboer commenting on the case stated, “this decision is not only good for me and my family, but for all members of law enforcement.” Mr. Koehler indicated that 207-c issues are a recurring cause of conflict between union members and public employers across the state. He believes that if the state legislature would structure an objective review process for employees, litigation could be minimized.