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Ex-Pasco Sheriff's deputy sues over training accident injuries

An ex-Pasco County sheriff's deputy is suing her former employer and another law enforcement agency over a training accident that happened nearly four years ago.

Paula E. Neal, now 31, was taking a weeklong "female survival" class at St. Petersburg College in November 2005 when her instructor tackled her on some mats, according to the complaint, filed June 9 in Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Court. But the two mats weren't attached to each other, and the deputy's foot got caught between them, the lawsuit said.

As a result, she twisted her left knee, fell and her head hit the floor, the lawsuit said.

When she filed for workers' compensation, the Pasco Sheriff's Office denied the request, saying under the law it didn't have to grant the application.

Pasco County sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said his office does not comment on pending litigation. He said Neal worked as a deputy from June 2004 to July 2008. He said after the accident she was offered a civilian position, which she declined.

Also named is the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, which conducted the training and provided the facility, the lawsuit said. St. Petersburg College is not named as a defendant.

Neal and her husband, Garfield, are seeking unspecified damages in excess of $15,000.

A lawyer for Neal was not available for comment Friday.

A representative from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office did not return a call Friday.

Ex-Pasco Sheriff's deputy sues over training accident injuries 06/19/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 19, 2009 8:49pm]
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