Disclaimer: Letters to the Editor express the opinion of the writer and are not necessarily the opinion of WBIG ownership, management or staff.
I worked on a 100-year-old building on South Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre. One day, when I was working on the property, the floor gave way and I fell through it. I had to be Life Flighted and rushed into surgery. The doctor came into my room the next day to explain what he had to do to me during the five-hour operation. He told me I was a lucky man who had almost died. Now, a normal person would assume that I would receive workers compensation for as long as I needed, as long as the Department of Labor and Industry requires. I worked for ICD, Interior Contract and Design, owned by Joel Zitofsky. The building I had been working on was owned by none other than CityVest.
Yes, CityVest, the former owners of the Hotel Sterling. I worked on two other CityVest properties, also located on South Franklin Street. I was the unofficial project manager, the carpenter, laborer, etc. If it needed to get done all Joel Zitosfsky had to do was tell me what he needed done and I would take care of the situation.
After I was injured I had to fight for six months to get any workers compensation from ICD. In fact, I only saw my employer once, the day after I was Life Flighted, until almost six years later when we were both in court, because my workers compensation checks had stopped for no reason at all.
I have been in and out of workers compensation court just about every two months to get my checks again. This has been going on since August 2009. When you work hard for a living you expect the system to be there for you when you need it. I have lost everything because of this accident. I can no longer work because of all the injuries sustained in the accident. I was granted disability the first time a social security doctor examined me, but that doesn’t come close to paying the bills or to what I was making when I was working.
When I was injured in 2004 I was in the best shape of my life; well, at least since I was 26 years old. Now I have trouble with my back and my legs. My stomach will never be the same again; that’s where I took the brunt of the injuries. I wish people would understand that a major injury like I received is financially devastating. Up until September 25, 2004, the date of my accident, I could count on one hand how many pain pills I took. Since my accident I can’t even count how many pain pills I take in one day.
Charlie Wilson, Wyoming