Insurance firm agrees to pay Joplin survivor

Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2011 file  photo, Mark Lindquist, of Joplin, Mo., reacts after being released from the Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mount Vernon, Mo. Lindquist, an underpaid social worker who nearly gave his life trying to save three developmentally disabled adults from the Joplin tornado, has been honored by both houses of the Missouri legislature, the Senate resolution calling him "a true hero and inspiration to others." (AP Photo/The Joplin Globe, T. Rob Brown, File)
.

View gallery

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2011 file photo, Mark Lindquist, of Joplin, Mo., reacts after being released from …

ST. LOUIS (AP) — An insurance company that initially refused to pay the medical bills of a man injured in the Joplin tornado while he tried to save three residents of a group home where he worked has now agreed to pay the claim, the company said Monday.

Mark Lindquist was in a coma for nearly two months, broke every rib, lost most of his teeth and suffered other catastrophic injuries in the May 22 tornado. He had placed three middle-aged men with Down syndrome beneath mattresses, then climbed atop one of the mattresses, to try and protect them.

The men died. Lindquist survived but ran up medical bills in excess of $2.5 million. He worked in a job paying barely above minimum wage and couldn't afford medical insurance.

He sought workers' compensation, claiming he was injured on the job. His company's workers' compensation provider, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, denied the claim in June "based on the fact that there was no greater risk than the general public at the time you were involved in the Joplin tornado," according to a letter from a claims adjuster.

But on Monday, a day after an Associated Press story, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America agreed to pay.

"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," Mike Britt, president of the Lansing, Mich.-based insurance company, said. "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."

Lindquist, 51, did not have a phone listing but his sister, Linda Lindquist Baldwin, said the family still plans to meet with an attorney to consider all options before accepting the payment. But she said the family was overwhelmed by the turnaround.

"What it's going to mean for Mark is long-term help and medical care for him," Baldwin said, adding that Accident Fund has agreed to pay all past and future medical bills related to his injuries. "My only concern is that Mark's cared for. He's younger than I am and will probably outlive me, and I want to make sure he is cared for his entire life."

View Comments (128)

Recommended for You

  • Luggage piece found on French island near possible MH370 debris

    Part of a bag was found Thursday on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion not far from plane debris which has fuelled speculation it may be from missing flight MH370. "The piece of luggage was here since yesterday but nobody really paid attention," said Johnny Begue, a member of a local…

    AFP
  • Chicago man cleared after 17 years in prison shot dead

    CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man who served 17 years in prison for murder before being cleared of the crime has been shot and killed almost three years after being released from prison, police said Wednesday.

    Associated Press
  • Family Pet-Sitter Helps Herself To Homeowner's Possessions

    DEAR ABBY: A trusted and beloved family member who takes care of my cats -- and therefore has a key to my house -- has been stealing things like cleaning supplies, knickknacks, family pictures, etc. Most of them have little monetary value. But imagine my surprise when I spotted some of my missing…

    Dear Abby
  • Jon Stewart signing off 'Daily Show' fake newscast for real

    NEW YORK (AP) — After more than 16 years and nearly 2,600 telecasts, Jon Stewart can feel proud of his scads of Emmys and his Peabody Award, his cultural gravitas (he hung with the Prez, both on and off the air!), even his reprobate status at Fox News.

    Associated Press32 mins ago
  • An American Dentist Killed Zimbabwe’s Famous Lion

    Cecil the lion, a famous black-maned resident of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, died at the hands of an American dentist, conservationists claim. “Mr. Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow but this shot didn't kill him,” Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said in…

    TakePart.com
  • Hidden Security Cameras Are Shocking Surprise For Daughter

    DEAR ABBY: I'm a 19-year-old woman in college who still lives with my parents. I found out something several weeks ago that's bothering me, and I need advice badly. Years ago, after a robbery, my parents installed security cameras outside our house. I knew about them because they were visible. But…

    Dear Abby
  • Taliban disavows Afghan peace talks after leader declared dead

    By Kay Johnson KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban's official spokesman disavowed peace talks with the Afghan government on Thursday, throwing fledgling efforts to negotiate an end to 14 years of war into disarray. The statement came a day after the Afghan government said that Mullah Omar, the elusive…

    Reuters
  • Play

    Body cam footage from Cincinnati shooting contradicts official story

    A University of Cincinnati police officer has been indicted for murder after body camera footage contradicted his official story outlining the events that led to the shooting death of unarmed Cincinnati driver Samuel Dubose.

    Reuters Videos
  • Dashcam catches off-duty cop threatening to put 'hole in head' of driver

    Technically Incorrect: A Massachusetts driver makes a wrong turn. What happens next, all filmed on his dashcam, has led to an investigation. And yes, it's now on YouTube.

    CNET
  • Colorado theater shooter's dad saw wide-eyed smirk before

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — James Holmes came home on winter break from graduate school looking haggard and making odd facial expressions, but his father didn't suspect at the time that he was descending into mental illness.

    Associated Press
  • Maine man sentenced to life for killing grandmother

    ALFRED, Maine (AP) — A Maine man who beat his grandmother, stabbed her dozens of times and set her body afire was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison, the maximum penalty under state law.

    Associated Press
  • Play

    Custom truck built by father and son stolen in Lemoore

    A Lemoore man is on the hunt for his stolen pick-up truck. The classic custom ride holds significant sentiment to its owner, who built the truck with his late father.

    KFSN – Fresno
  • Buffalo Snow Pile Refuses to Melt Eight Months After Snowstorm

    The sun is shining, swimming pools are open and there’s still a giant snow pile in New York.The calendar says it’s almost August, but an estimated 12-feet-tall snow pile still lingers in Buffalo, New York from a snow storm eight months ago.“The original problem started back in November,” New York…

    ABC News
  • Independent media battle on in Putin's Russia

    By Timothy Heritage MOSCOW (Reuters) - Alexei Venediktov, one of Russia's most prominent journalists, does not go out without a bodyguard and does not answer mobile phone calls for fear of being tracked. Such precautions do not seem out of place in a country where at least 17 journalists have been…

    Reuters
  • Boko Haram 'slits throats of 10 fishermen' near Lake Chad

    Boko Haram Islamists slit the throats of 10 fishermen in villages near Baga on the shores of the Lake Chad in northeastern Nigeria, a leading fisherman and a resident said Thursday. "On Monday around 4 pm (1500 GMT), Boko Haram attacked three villages on the shores of Lake Chad where they…

    AFP
  • Internet mauls dentist accused of illegal kill of popular lion

    Technically Incorrect: Walter Palmer, a dentist in Minnesota, has his Yelp entry attacked by those not fond of his allegedly illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.

    CNET
  • Kurdish rebels attack Turkish security forces, killing 5

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Kurdish rebels have attacked Turkish security forces in two separate assaults in southeast Turkey, killing five people, officials said. One rebel was also killed.

    Associated Press