Arizona Supreme Court Rules Gila County Must Compensate Officer For PTSD Claims
John France began his career in law enforcement in 1984 with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office as a patrolman. By 2017, he had become a sergeant with the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.
On a June night that year, he and his partner responded to a call in Beaver Valley, outside of Payson. They were confronted by a man wielding a shotgun. He was a veteran experiencing a PTSD episode and he was a threat to the officers and others. After refusing to drop the gun, France and his partner shot the man dead in what was ruled a justifiable shooting.
The experience stayed with France for years, and the post-traumatic stress interfered with his life to the extent that he sought help.
When he filed a worker’s compensation claim with Gila County, it was refused.
France filed a suit which was initially ruled in his favor. That ruling was reversed upon appeal by the defendant, the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Last week, the Arizona Supreme Court overturned that appeal and ruled Gila County must compensate France.
The Show spoke with France for more about the ruling and the incident that sparked it all.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Some of the questions and answers may disturb some listeners.