Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

June 3, 2014

Howard County reaches settlement with former corrections officer

Settlement covers medical expenses for officer injured in attack by inmate in 2004

The Howard County Board of Commissioners has reached a settlement that will pay for the medical expenses for a former corrections officer injured in an attack on the job in 2004.

The county will pay former Howard County Sheriff’s Department corrections officer Kenneth Marschand $50,000 within the next 30 days for medical expenses incurred during the negotiation process in addition to $100,000 for any future expenses incurred from the effects of head injuries he suffered after being attacked by an inmate on July 20, 2004, in the Howard County Jail.

Marschand, who left the department in 2011, had previously received workers' compensation for his injuries in July 2007. A state statute that was discovered later left the county liable for any future medical expenses incurred because he was injured on duty.

The settlement releases the county, sheriff’s department and board of commissioners from any future action, suits or claims from Marschand.

“The [state] statute says the county will pay for all of the care for a corrections officer injured during the course of duty,” Howard County Attorney Larry Murrell said. “There’s a statutory obligation that extends beyond the worker’s compensation that we’ve been trying to come to terms with, and did so with this agreement.”

Murrell said Marschand received workers’ compensation for the time he was unable to work, while also receiving an undisclosed lump sum settlement from the county’s workers compensation insurance carrier for serious injuries he suffered during the attack.

“We tried to strike a balance between the obligation of Howard County to take care of his medical [expenses] and protecting the county from an open-ended obligation,” Murrell said.

Marschand has since moved to Travis County in Texas and maintained regular contact with the sheriff’s department.

Howard County Sheriff Steve Rodgers said he was glad to see the issue resolved, providing closure to both the county and Marschand.

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