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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 10J: Incapacity of environmental police officer due to injuries sustained in performance of duties; leave without loss of pay

Section 10J. (a) Whenever an environmental police officer of the office of law enforcement is incapacitated and unable to perform the duties of such an officer because of injuries sustained in the performance of the environmental police officer's duties, without the fault of the officer, the injured officer shall be granted leave without loss of pay for the period of the officer's incapacity; provided, however, that such leave shall not be granted for any period after the injured officer has retired or been pensioned in accordance with the law or for any period after a physician designated by the director of law enforcement determines that the incapacity no longer exists. All amounts payable pursuant to this section shall be paid at the same time and in the same manner as the regular compensation of the injured officer and for all purposes shall be deemed to be the officer's regular compensation.

(b) When the injury causing the incapacity of an environmental police officer, for which that officer is granted a leave without loss of pay and is paid compensation in accordance with this section, was caused by circumstances creating a legal liability requiring a person to pay damages in respect thereof, either the injured officer or the office paying the compensation may enforce the liability of the person in any court of competent jurisdiction. The sum recovered shall be for the benefit of the office paying the compensation, unless the sum is greater than the compensation paid to the injured officer, in which event the excess shall be retained by or paid to the injured officer. For the purposes of this section, the term ''excess'' shall mean the amount by which the total sum received in payment for the injury, exclusive of interest and costs, exceeds the amount paid pursuant to this section as compensation to the injured officer. The party bringing the action shall be entitled to any costs recovered by that party. Any interest received in the action shall be apportioned between the office and the injured officer in proportion to the amounts received by them respectively, inclusive of interest and costs. The expense of attorney's fees shall be divided between the office and the injured officer in proportion to the amounts received by them respectively.

(c) Whoever intentionally or negligently injures an environmental police officer for which the officer is granted a leave without loss of pay and is paid compensation in accordance with this section shall be liable in tort to the office paying such compensation for all costs incurred by that office in replacing the injured officer that in excess of the amount of compensation so paid.