Lawyers Serving Law Enforcement Officers In Labor Disputes
Tim O’Neil is a tenacious trial attorney who has spent his career advocating for the rights of law enforcement personnel. It is more than a career; it is his passion. Attorney O’Neil is dedicated to providing police officers, court security personnel and other law enforcement officers with the very best possible legal representation. O’Neil doesn’t shy away from a tough legal issue or a difficult fact pattern. Rather, when presented with a challenging case, Mr. O’Neil tackles it with creativity, innovation, energy and dedication. Without a doubt, his record of success is fueled by nearly three decades of experience. Mr. O’Neil understands the law enforcement profession and the challenges faced by law enforcement personnel.
Fighting For Law Enforcement Officers
“Results matter,” and attorney O’Neil and his legal team have the skills, knowledge and determination required to obtain the important recoveries law enforcement personnel deserve. There are very few law firms that understand the interrelationship between union collective bargaining agreements, workplace injuries and specific laws such as the Public Employee Disability Act (PEDA), the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act (PSEBA) and the labor laws.
Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC, represents over 1,000 police officers and sheriffs’ deputies through their unions, including the sworn officers for the cities of Aurora, Elgin, Sterling, Freeport and Rockford and the counties of Stephenson and Kane. Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC, also represents court security personnel for the counties of Kane and DuPage, corrections officers for Kane County and sworn deputies of the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Bureau. Our attorneys have successfully represented dozens of individual officers in police pension board disability hearings.
Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder: The Case Of Officer C.B.
Officer C.B. was a 14-year veteran of one of the largest municipal police departments in Illinois. As both a mother and a police officer, C.B. had to juggle her personal life and her professional life in a large, metropolitan police agency. Officer C.B. had seen much of what is to be expected of a police officer: traffic matters, burglaries and other property crimes as well as crimes of violence. She was promoted to investigator because of her diligent yet caring police work. One evening in October 2007, Officer C.B. was dispatched to an armed robbery in progress. Establishing a perimeter with several other officers, Officer C.B. found herself at the exit point of the large building; one of the suspects used the exit in an attempt to escape. Drawing her weapon, Officer C.B. ordered the suspect to drop to the ground with his hands laying flat out in front of him. The suspect complied. Then, to Officer C.B.’s shock, the owner of the building emerged with a rifle; he had been held at gunpoint by the suspect and his accomplices. Officer C.B. called out “Police – drop your weapon.” Instead of complying, the business owner raised his rifle and shot the suspect who was still lying compliant on the ground. Officer C.B. then was faced with the moment that every officer is trained to encounter but hopes that they never face: She was forced to use her weapon to protect the life of the armed robbery suspect on the ground. Her shot was true – the suspect survived but the business owner did not.
After review by the Critical Incident Response Team and the state’s attorney, Officer C.B.’s actions were ruled as justifiable use of deadly force. However, there was another facet that affected her life: She started having flashbacks and dreams concerning the incident and had to call in sick repeatedly over the next few years, which drew the interest of her agency and started an internal investigation for her use of sick leave.
Facing an internal investigation and not knowing what to do, C.B. called Tim O’Neil. O’Neil’s familiarity with her Collective Bargaining Agreement as well as the workers’ compensation law led C.B. to a referral to a medical professional who diagnosed C.B. with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the October 2007 incident. Attorney Craig Mielke filed a workers’ compensation claim on C.B.’s behalf while attorney O’Neil filed a petition for a duty-related disability pension with the city’s Pension Board. Ultimately, Officer C.B. received the medical treatment that she needed but did not know how to obtain. With O’Neil’s help, Officer C.B. obtained a duty disability pension and health insurance for life. Mielke obtained a workers’ compensation award for C.B. in excess of $100,000.
C.B. stated, “I didn’t know where to turn – my department was looking to terminate me because of my sick time use and I really didn’t understand why I had these nightmares. Tim and Craig got me the treatment I needed, and their knowledge of the CBA, the disability pension system and the workers’ comp laws helped me provide for myself and my family.”
Contact Us Today
To reach an experienced labor lawyer, contact Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil, LLC, in Geneva, Illinois, by calling 630-232-7450.