Baltimore County government has agreed to
reinstate a 71-year old man who was forced to retire in 2011 after he applied for
workers compensation related to an injury suffered on the job, according to
Kathleen Cahill, a Towson attorney who represented the county employee.
William Galanti, 71, is to be reinstated to a job as a shop clerk in the Department of Public Works. The position pays $45,630 annually.
"This case is all about a guy who can still work and wanted to work," Cahill said.
Galanti will also continue to receive his pension benefits for his 30 years of county service as a laborer.
The county also agreed to pay him two years of back pay, legal fees and emotional damages, reinstate survivors benefits for Galanti's wife related to his pension and drop an appeal challenging his worker's compensation case.
"There wasn't anything meaningful [in the lawsuit] that he didn't get," Cahill said, speaking of the county's settlement offer.
The county did not admit liability in the settlement.
"The County remains firm in its position that Mr. Galanti is medically unable to safely perform his former duties as a laborer and heavy equipment operator," said County Attorney Michael Field in a written statement issued in response to a request for comment. "This settlement allows him to return to work as a Shop Clerk where he will not pose a safety risk to himself or the public. At the same time it protects the County from the costs and uncertainties of further litigation."
Galanti filed suit in federal court after the county forced him to retire following an accident in which he fractured his hip. The county then cancelled survivor’s benefits for his wife related to his pension and attempted to end his workers compensation case in court claiming that the 30-year employee had taken a disability retirement, according to the suit.
The county has paid out nearly $2 million to 14 other county employees who filed suit against the county related to disabilities claims.