Interview of Correctional Sergeant Alvin Saint-Louis
How the Workman Comp system can destroy you physically by denying treatments and financially by stretching out the length of time.
The injury that ended Alvin’s career occurred on April 10,2020, while working in prison during the pandemic.
Alvin worked as the Central Facility Yard Sergeant at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, California. During this period, there was limited inmate movement to reduce the spread of the virus, so the officers would feed the inmates in the housing units instead of having them walk to the culinary for their meals. There were select inmate workers allowed to come out of the housing units and assist with the feeding, moving carts, cleaning up afterward, and returning all the carts and trays back to the kitchen. Alvin’s duties were to supervise the various housing units while feeding was taking place as an additional set of eyes for custody since the unit officers were busy with direct supervision of the inmate workers.
Once his duties were complete in the unit and were walking towards the yard to prepare for the scheduled yard release, Alvin had no idea what had happened but was knocked to the ground from being hit from behind by a 6’ metal food cart being pushed by an inmate down a sloped corridor. He said, immediately he felt an excruciating pain in his feet and ankles. He said, "I tried to get up but was unable to.”
Medical staff were summoned and responded to where Alvin layon the corridor floor. Alvin was evaluated, and the staff took him home instead of sending him out to the hospital for further evaluation. The medical facilities are not designed for trauma, and as a standard procedure, the severely injured (inmates/ staff) are taken to the hospital by ambulance. In addition, the medical staff is not set up for caring for custody staff. The facilities are for the inmate population only.
Once at home and in pain, his wife took him to the hospital.After many tests, it was determined that several bones in his foot were broken.He also had torn ligaments in both legs, the meniscus in each knee was torn,and a spiral fracture from his ankle to knee was detected in addition to the server hip pain.
This resulted in double knee surgery to repair the two menisci, but they were too damaged for repair and removed while doing the procedure. Recovery has been a long process going from a wheelchair to a walker to crutches and then a cane and finally the ability to do minimal walking on his own.
During all this, he has not been able to work, and the Medical Evaluator has classified him as “Permanent Stationary,” which means his progress will not improve and will not be able to perform the requirements of his job.
While dealing with all the medical issues he was also having to deal with financial issues as well. Being off work and only receiving a partial paycheck he was not able to provide for his family as he had before the injury. They were forced to leave their home and move in with relatives. At present his pay has been reduced to $250 a week. When working in prison if someone is injured by an inmate there is a higher level of compensation“Enhanced IDL (Industrial Disability Leave)” which he is being denied.
He requires additional procedures which State Fund is now denying.
In no way or form has Alvin been attempting to take advantage of the system but the system is trying to harm Alvin and his family for performing his duties and not fulfilling their obligations to him and his family.
A link to help Alvin and his family https://gofund.me/e538376a