By Charles Selle, Chicago Tribune:
Buffalo Grove officials currently are 0-3 in their struggle to deny a village firefighter’s family his line-of-duty death benefits. That losing record would surely give others pause, but the town’s burghers might appeal their latest setback to the state Supreme Court.
Readers may remember the case of Kevin Hauber, who died at age 51 from colon cancer. The firefighter’s wife and four daughters sought a full 100% death benefit — $101,549 annually — from the Buffalo Grove Firefighters Pension Board; the village countered with a 75% offer, $76,161.
Buffalo Grove’s flinty-hearted officials appealed the pension board’s decision giving Hauber’s survivors the full award to the Lake County Circuit Court. Circuit Court Judge Diane Winter’s administrative review last year upheld the pension board’s award.
That decision then was appealed to the 2nd District Appellate Court, which sits in Elgin. On Jan. 17, the justices again upheld the pension board’s payout for “cumulative effects of acts of duty” in a decision penned by Appellate Justice Mary Schostok, a former Lake County Circuit Court judge.
The position by village officials has been Hauber’s death was not directly related to his 23 years working in Buffalo Grove’s fire service, during which he responded to 127 fire calls. Village officials have contended there’s no proof he was exposed to toxins or carcinogens during his years of fighting fires.
Read the full story here.