Section 111F. Whenever a police officer or fire fighter of a city, town, or fire or water district is incapacitated for duty because of injury sustained in the performance of his duty without fault of his own, or a police officer or fire fighter assigned to special duty by his superior officer, whether or not he is paid for such special duty by the city or town, is so incapacitated because of injuries so sustained, he shall be granted leave without loss of pay for the period of such incapacity; provided, that no such leave shall be granted for any period after such police officer or fire fighter has been retired or pensioned in accordance with law or for any period after a physician designated by the board or officer authorized to appoint police officers or fire fighters in such city, town or district determines that such incapacity no longer exists. All amounts payable under this section shall be paid at the same times and in the same manner as, and for all purposes shall be deemed to be, the regular compensation of such police officer or fire fighter. This section shall also apply to any member of a fire department who is subject to the provisions of chapter one hundred and fifty-two if he is injured at a fire and if he waives the provisions of said chapter. This section shall also apply to any permanent crash crewman, crash boatman, fire controlman or assistant fire controlman employed at the General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport and members of the Massachusetts military reservation fire department and, for the purposes of this section, the Massachusetts Port Authority and the Massachusetts military reservation shall be fire districts.
Where the injury causing the incapacity of a firefighter or police officer for which he is granted a leave without loss of pay and is paid compensation in accordance with the provisions of this section, was caused under circumstances creating a legal liability in some person to pay damages in respect thereof, either the person so injured or the city, town or fire or water district paying such compensation may proceed to enforce the liability of such person in any court of competent jurisdiction. The sum recovered shall be for the benefit of the city, town or fire or water district paying such compensation, unless the sum is greater than the compensation paid to the person so injured, in which event the excess shall be retained by or paid to the person so injured. For the purposes of this section, “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 under this section as compensation to the person so injured. The party bringing the action shall be entitled to any costs recovered by him. Any interest received in such action shall be apportioned between the city, town or fire or water district and the person so injured in proportion to the amounts received by them respectively, inclusive of interest and costs. The expense of any attorney’s fees shall be divided between the city, town or fire or water district and the person so injured in proportion to the amounts received by them respectively.
Whoever intentionally or negligently injures a firefighter or police officer for which he is granted a leave without loss of pay and is paid compensation in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be liable in tort to the city, town or fire or water district paying such compensation for all costs incurred by such city, town or fire or water district in replacing such injured police officer or firefighter which are in excess of the amount of compensation so paid.