Picture of Paul

Man Struck by Dodge Truck

Last year Paul Leighton, a custodian for the three rivers school district in Josephine County, Oregon, was returning to work from a mandatory meeting at their headquarters when he was struck by a brand new dodge truck while completely stopped at a red light. He was knocked from his motorcycle and subsequently driven to the hospital and diagnosed with “post concussive syndrome.” He took a short leave of absence before returning to work at half-time. Two months ago workman’s comp decided his case should be closed. He is now paying his school district $600 to work part time and keep his (and his family’s) benefits. He is literally paying to work. Yesterday he found he needs surgery on his L1 Lombard, but neither the driver’s auto insurance nor workman’s comp will agree pay damages even though he was on company time and even though the driver was at fault. On top of everything, if he goes through with the needed surgery he will need to take time more time off. The school district says they will hold a position for him within the district for a year, but it does not have to be his Head Custodian position he has worked 13 years to obtain.
Paul volunteered his life to the community. He and his wife, Niki, were volunteer fire fighters at Wolf Creek Rural Fire Protection District for over a decade. They were both working at Glendale Ambulance in Glendale, Oregon until Paul’s accident, he no longer workers there, while Niki maintains a regular schedule. Paul’s motto has ALWAYS been “put the community first,” and it is obvious through his actions.
If you were to ask the now-grown children of Wolf Creek what they think of Paul you will see he was a major source of happiness within our community. Paul and Niki combined a boy & girl scout groups within the community. The biggest project they did was the rafting trip. All of the children from the community washed cars every weekend for a full summer to save for the Labor Day rafting trip. When Labor Day came it rained all weekend, but it was the most fun any of those children have. Almost a decade later and kids are still saying “do you remember during that rafting trip, when….”
This is on top of taking in local teenagers in need and doing foster care for over 15 years.
This story is not about one man; it is about the struggle all Americans are going through. It’s no longer how hard you work to support your family, but who you are. If this man’s title were more important than “head custodian” he would receive the attention and care this situation demands, instead he is paying $600 to work. How will that support his household of 6?

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Anonymous says ... on Saturday, Dec 24 at 12:09 PM

If this truly is a tragic story then I am very sorry for what is happening, but too many scam artists put up similar stories on this website asking for $$$. It's kind of hard to tell the difference, you should be taking this story to a lawyer.

Anonymous says ... on Saturday, Dec 24 at 3:27 AM

It is amazing how heartless some people/companies can be when it comes to money. My prayers are with him and his family.

cmh says ... on Saturday, Dec 24 at 1:41 AM

It is 'workers'' compensation - not 'workman's' compensation. It is Lumbar, not Lombard. How exactly is he paying $600 to work? Pre-existing degenerative disc disease at play here?

Oregonized says ... on Friday, Dec 23 at 5:20 PM

Lawyer up, stat! For what he is facing, the professional standard is to work on contingency - his attorney won't get paid unless he gets paid. And if he already has an injury attorney, he might look for a firm with injury, work comp & disability.

Anonymous says ... on Friday, Dec 23 at 4:45 PM

Direct him to call his Local Congressman and or Attorney Generals office for input on which direction to take next- I have done this several times and they have come thru for me every time. Take the story to Katu news- problem solvers.

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