Benefits cut for DDOT driver partially blinded by bleach - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Benefits cut for DDOT driver partially blinded by bleach

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DETROIT (WJBK) - The DDOT bus driver who became partly blind after being doused with bleach last November while on the job recently learned his benefits have been cut.

Damond Jackson was assaulted Nov. 3, 2013, while driving his normal bus route near the old state fair grounds. He says he noticed a suspicious passenger standing at the bus stop, and when he opened the bus door for the passenger, a liquid substance was splashed in his face.

"As soon as the door opened, that's when I got splashed. At first I thought it was urine or water, but when it hit me I smelled the bleach," Jackson had said. "It was running green out my eyes, my nose and mouth; I even swallowed half of the bleach that came into my face."

Most of Jackson's physical injuries have healed but the mental and emotional trauma remains. Doctors say he suffers from post traumatic stress, causing flashbacks, irritability and sleeplessness.

Since he was injured while on the clock, he tells FOX 2's Maurielle Lue he was surprised when he learned his benefits were getting cut.

"Workman's [compensation] is an occupational injury that pays you more of your salary than S&A. S&A, sick and accident, only pays you 50 percent of your salary," explains Fred Westbrook, president of ATU Local 26.

S&A benefits are are usually reserved for injuries sustained off the job, but Jackson was attacked while driving a city bus. If the city classified his case as an occupational injury he would get 85 percent of his regular pay.

Now, he's applying for long-term disability which still means less money for his family .

The City of Detroit gave this statement regarding Jackson's situation:

"We are working to make sure he will get the maximum compensation he is entitled to. We are following the guidelines of the Workers Compensation Act to determine what his level ofcompensationn should be. We are waiting for a supplemental report from doctors and once we have that report we will have a clearer understanding of what benefits he is entitled to."

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