Mass. High Court Rules In Favor Of A Woman Who Suffered A Heart Attack After Being Laid Off

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — The highest court in Massachusetts says a municipal employee, who suffered a heart attack shortly after being told she would be laid off, is entitled to a full disability pension.

Claire Cole was a secretary for the department of public works in Salem. She was informed March 22, 2000, that her job was being eliminated. She left the office in tears and suffered a heart attack about an hour later.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday upheld a ruling by the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board that Cole should have received a full disability pension because her medical situation was job-related. She died in 2006 of a different illness.

Paul Applebaum, who represented her estate, told The Salem News that the family was very pleased by the ruling. An attorney for the city's retirement board did not immediately return a call for comment.

This program aired on February 25, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Andrew Phelps Reporter
Andrew Phelps was formerly a producer and reporter for WBUR.