Police Officer Staples Finger, Gets Lifetime Disability, Study Finds
December 12, 2013 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
TRENTON, N.J. (UPI) — A retired New Jersey police officer collects a lifetime disability for a hand injury involving a stapler, an investigative news website reported Thursday.
New Jersey Watchdog, a non-profit news organization focusing on state and local government, said Christopher Onesti, 34, now a resident of Drexel Hill, Pa., retired at 29 and annually receives a tax-free police disability pension of $46,000 for stapling the ring finger of his non-shooting hand in 2006.
Onesti drove a staple through his hand while attaching a target, blown down by the wind, during a required firearms test. His testimony indicated the wound was the size of a pinprick, and after applying a Band-Aid he successfully completed the test.
He was referred for medical care by his supervisors, and after a questionable diagnosis, two surgeries and 18 months, doctors told him he could no longer work as a traffic police officer, New Jersey Watchdog said.
It added a judge agreed the state could not prove the stapler accident was willful, and Onesti received an “accidental disability” retirement for a line-of-duty accident.
The news website said nearly 5,500 retired New Jersey police officers collectively receive more than $200 million per year in disability pay.