Judge refuses to order West Palm police to reinstate veteran who has PTSD
PALM BEACH POST
BY JANE MUSGRAVE STAFF WRITER
January 16, 2014
Iraqi war veteran Matthew Ladd won the personal battle he has fought on the home front but lost the war.
Six months after a jury agreed the city wrongly fired him from the police force in 2010 on the basis of rumors that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, a judge on Wednesday refused to order the city to reinstate him to his former post.
Saying there is evidence Ladd would pose a threat to himself and others and that fellow officers don’t trust him, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge David Crow said it wouldn’t be “appropriate” for him to order the city to rehire the 28-year-old who served two years in Iraq and Afghanistan and remained in the U.S. Army Reserves until 2012.
His attorney, Sid Garcia, said Crow’s ruling doesn’t track the jury’s decision or reflect evidence that was presented during the trial. He plans to appeal.
A jury in August ordered the city to pay Ladd $880,000 for discriminating against him because of his disability. Evidence during the trial showed that Ladd wasn’t fired for any justified medical reason. In fact, a psychologist hired by the city cleared him to return to duty after he was suspended in October 2010. Six days later he was fired.
After he was fired, Ladd was diagnosed with the combat malady, once known as battle fatigue. But, during the trial, a psychiatrist testified that PTSD is treatable and, contrary to images often portrayed in the media, those who suffer from it aren’t destined to become crazed killers. Further, two West Palm Beach offices testified that they have PTSD.
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Thursday, January 16, 2014
Judge refuses to give Matthew Ladd back his job
You may remember Matthew Ladd providing an update to what has been happening after he won the lawsuit for being fired. Ten days later he sent me this from the Palm Beach Post. the judge refused to force the police to give him back his job and he still doesn't have the money the jury awarded him. None of this is fair. He served his country in the military and then began to pay the price with grace but what makes him even more remarkable is the fact he still wants to serve the people as a police officer.