The South Carolina Supreme Court recently ruled that police officers who kill suspects in the line of duty are not eligible for workers’ compensation.
The Court ruled 3-2 that current work comp laws do not cover cops who use deadly force in the line of duty, because that is part of their job description. Officers are trained to use deadly force if necessary and the current law assumes they will be able to handle the mental stress. Only officers who experience “extraordinary and unusual” conditions may be eligible for work comp benefits.
“The use of deadly force is within the normal scope and duties of a Spartanburg County, SC deputy sheriff,” the court said in its ruling.
Workers in other fields are also only eligible for mental stress work comp if they experience “extraordinary and unusual” circumstances. The Court advocated that the state change its law to get rid of this requirement.
What do you think? Should cops who kill suspects be eligible for work comp benefits?