Company Sends Workers' Compensation Letter to Fort Worth Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

CorVel Corporation, a company contracted by the city of Fort Worth to process workers' compensation claims, has responded after criticism for letters it sent two police officers killed in the line of duty.

Officer Dwayne Freeto was killed in December 2006 when his patrol car was struck while he was helping a driver with a flat tire on Interstate 35. Officer Henry "Hank" Nava was fatally shot in 2005 while attempting to arrest a man on a warrant.

Letters addressed to Nava and Freeto read, "Effective November 1st, 2015, the city of Fort Worth, Texas will transition the handling of your claim to York Risk Services Group." The closing of the letter states, "We wish you a speedy recovery."

"It's that time of year where it's hard anyway, so a letter at this time makes it that much harder," said Nava's widow, Teresa Nava-Salazar. "I don't wish the way they've handled things on anybody."

"It's just disrespectful," Nava-Salazar added. "I hope they would learn how to handle their business better."

In a statement Tuesday to NBC 5, CorVel Senior Vice President Bennie Stoner said, in part, "This oversight was not intentional, and CorVel regrets any hurt its communications caused these fine families. CorVel plans to reach out individually to the families of Officer Hank Nava and Officer Dwayne Freeto with its sincere apologies."

CorVel Corporation has made missteps before with Fort Worth city employees. In January 2014, Sgt. Shane Drake was shot and critically injured while on duty. A CorVel representative showed up unexpectedly at the hospital to begin a compensation claim. The company later apologized.

"It's not a surprise, the insensitive nature in which they deal with the claims," said Sgt. Richard Van Houten, president of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association. "The fact of the matter is these officers made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of this city and to get a form letter in this manner is just despicable."

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CorVel Response 102715 (Text)
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