Court of appeals decides former JPD officer should receive benefits for 2015 car crash

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The Court of Appeals of the State of Mississippi is affirming a decision about a workers’ compensation case regarding a former Jackson police officer.

The City of Jackson appealed a judgment granted to former officer Kearney Brown.

Brown was severely injured in a crash about four years while he was responding to a scene.

The city claimed Brown was not entitled to worker’s compensation benefits because they said he willfully intended to injure himself during the crash. The Court of Appeals said Brown did not act with willful intent to injure himself.

On the night of July 21, 2012, Brown and other officers were at an apartment complex responding to a domestic call when another officer radioed for backup at a nightclub that was nearby.

As Brown was leaving, he crashed and was ejected from the vehicle. Crash data revealed that he was not wearing a seatbelt and that he was speeding.

He said in October of that same year, he was told that he must resign or he would be fired because the city claimed he behaved negligently on the night of the accident. He resigned from his position.

He sought to have the city to pay for his medical bills and the city refused. During a hearing before an administrative judge, the judge said there was no credible evidence that Brown wilfully intended to injure himself.

The city filed a petition with the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission to try to fight the judge’s ruling; however, the Commission affirmed the administrative judge’s decision.

In the last effort to change the judgment, the city filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals also agreed with the Commission and the administrative judge.

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