ONLY ON 13: Stafford employee sues to recover $75k in medical bills

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Stafford employee sues when her insurance policy fails to cover medical bills linked to crash

November 7th, 2012. Jennifer Taylor remembers it like yesterday.

"It was extremely scary. It was very scary," said Taylor, who is the Emergency Management Coordinator for the city of Stafford.

She was on her way home from work, her 12-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son in her city SUV as the driver of a truck pulled right in front of them. The wreck, unavoidable.

"It scared me to death," said Taylor.

They only discovered injuries later. Taylor suffered a torn rotator cuff which required surgery. Her daughter was diagnosed with a bulging disc in her back, which sidelined her from softball with pain until just this year.

"She was playing since she was 7. It devastated her," said Taylor.

The city of Stafford, which is self-insured, denied coverage of their medical bills. Taylor's attorney says there's a little publicized exemption in the city health insurance plan which puts limitations on auto accidents when someone else has insurance available.

"It's not fair, it's not right and its our hope that we'll be able to remedy it," said lawyer, Steve Wisch.

As the medical bills came in, Taylor couldn't pay them. The single mother has racked up $75,000 in debt, as a result.

"I have medical insurance! I can't believe I'm in this position!" she said.

The city of Stafford has responded to the lawsuit, claiming as a local government it cannot be sued. The mayor says the city will defend itself in court from the allegations.

"I do not believe it has merit...this possibly is a frivolous lawsuit," said Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella.

Wisch said this issue effects every single full-time employee in the city of Stafford. Mayor Scarcella insists those employees are covered by the insurance and that the plan has payed out in the past.
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