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Douglas Kapaun letter: Host of Hot Talk wrong about WSI

I was on "Hot Talk" Monday, Feb. 14, with WSI officials Sandy Blunt, Bob Invik and Mark Armstrong. During a discussion regarding lawyers being paid for representing the injured worker in a legal case with WSI, Scott Hennen, the host of "Hot Talk," made a statement that is totally ridiculous.

I would like to point out that the federal, state and county criminals charged with felonies and misdemeanors are represented by public defenders who get paid whether the case is won or lost. Injured workers who are taxpaying citizens should have the same benefit as rapists, murderers and drug dealers. The injured worker that is facing a legal battle for his benefits has, more times than not, used up all of his assets and cannot afford legal representation.

If lawyers were paid win or lose I feel it would stop WSI from frivolous lawsuits and enable them to use the money to get the injured worker back to work if possible. What chance does the injured worker have against WSI, their $1.4 billion and big outside law firms? Hard working people have sacrificed their health due to workplace injuries and the legislators are not helping them. To all legislators: What is wrong with this picture: Who built the roads you use to drive to Bismarck?

I had two legal cases in three years with WSI that WSI called and wanted settle in stipulation before the court date. Because of this my lawyer was paid. Both of these claims took about a year during which my benefits were cut off and I was virtually homeless. I am at this time in a legal battle with them over SSID payments and have to represent myself because I cannot afford an attorney.

There was never any doubt that my injury happened at work, yet I have had to constantly battle for four years to obtain benefits due me. I am not an angry injured worker but a frustrated one.

I would like to thank Blunt for personally contacting me after the "Hot Talk" show and taking an interest in my case. To those of you who walk in my shoes, perhaps there is hope.

Douglas Kapaun

Jamestown, N.D.