Top city workers' compensation claim hit $624,000, Sun analysis shows

In October 2012, a Baltimore City firefighter was caught in a sudden burst of flames, suffering burns to his head, neck, shoulder, face and hand, according to a summary provided by the city.

The firefighter has since won a workers' compensation award that the city anticipates will total $624,0000, making it the costliest claim filed by a city employee in the last fiscal year, records show.

All told, the city expects to pay more than $35 million for 3,700 claims, with the bulk compensating for lost wages, medical bills and permanent physical injury. The 10 biggest claims of the year will cost $2.2 million, the city forecasts.

The second-highest claim involves a member of the Fire Department who died of the lung disease mesothelioma, which was deemed job-related. Also on the list: a firefighter injured after falling down stairs and hitting his forehead and one who twisted his knee pulling someone from a car wreck.

Three of the top 10 involve police officers: Two were injured in car accidents, while one was "doing defense tactics when she strained her lower back, left gluteus and left hamstring."

Rounding out the list are a Department of Public Works staffer and two school system employees, one of whom reported fracturing a leg while breaking up a fight between students.

For more detail on these and the 200 largest city payouts, see an interactive database at

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