L & I Claimant against King County Metro tells his story


Jason  contacted the TBZ on a social media account about a story he is currently going through having lost wages due to a workplace injury.

He worries about paying bills and accruing rent that is owed for his residence in Everett.  At a time when so many people are having a hard time paying bills, are unable to obtain stable housing and need help already due to covid-19, it seems a little bit of care might go far to support a full-time employee hold onto his job he has held for three years. 

Especially a Seattle metro driver willing do drive in downtown Seattle all night where "it's rougher" than driving on the Eastside or in other parts of Seattle during the day.  Not many people would choose his shift.

After having started out driving on the Eastside, Jason is now a full-time "night owl" Seattle transit driver who got injured on the job on May 4th at around 5:30 am.  

Jason got the "Activity prescription form" form filled out by the first doctor he went to.  The doctor examined Jason's ears and filled in the dates to cover about three weeks that Jason didn't notice at first.  Also not knowing the system he explained that navigating the L & I process is not very clear.  That is where the mess started for Jason.

Jason said the doctor gave him "physical tests for hearing issues" briefly poking him in his ears.  The doctor gave him the paperwork and "basically sent me back to work".

Jason felt the doctor did not solve the problem.  There was no treatment given to Jason by the doctor to help his hearing loss and pain.  Treatment such as ear pieces to help cut the sound from causing more pain in his ears, nor any medication, nor possible corrective surgery or any indication if the hearing problems were permanent or temporary.

Jason told his doctor that his "ears were ringing, they're screaming" but he felt the doctor really didn't seem to care about that.

The doctor said he could go back to work, so Jason went back to work.  He describes how the bell ringing by passengers to stop the bus caused so much pain in his ears that he could not complete his shift.

Jason believed he needed to see an ear, nose and throat specialist so he booked an appointment with a doctor at the University of Washington.  But they are booked up with long waiting lines to get appointments.

Jason was able to obtain an order from Department of Labor and Industries to get paid for time loss and benefits from King County Metro from May 29, 2021 and on-going as required by law.

But the problem now is that King County Metro has not paid Jason anything and he's had to seek legal help from an attorney.

That's where Jason is now, having no income, on EBT food assistance now, getting help from family and friends to stay afloat.  

He said that due to loud ringing in his ears and accompanying pain he is unable to go back to driving busses for King County Metro.

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