JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — By all accounts, Mark Lindquist is a hero, a social worker who nearly gave his life trying to save three developmentally disabled adults from the Joplin tornado.
But heroism doesn't pay the bills, not when the tornado tossed Lindquist nearly a block, broke every rib, obliterated his shoulder and put him in a coma for about two months.
Lindquist ran up medical expenses that exceed $2.5 million, and the bills keep coming.
He couldn't afford medical insurance because his job paid barely above minimum wage. He assumed workers' compensation would cover his bills, but his claim was denied because the insurer determined that as an employee, Lindquist was at no greater risk than the general public.
That reasoning has angered Lindquist's family, employer, even lawmakers.