Teen battles employer over workers' comp claim

Teen battles employer over workers' comp claim
MERIDIAN, Idaho - Nineteen-year-old Karrie Lombard had an accident at work.

A customer threw up inside the Meridian Souper Salad, and she passed out after cleaning up the mess.

"A few minutes later I woke up to paramedics just surrounding me - they were everywhere," Lombard said.

The 19-year-old had bumped her head on the way down and a manager called for help. The teen after coming to, told everyone she was OK.

But a few weeks later, Lombard received a surprise in the mail.

"I got this bill in the mail from Ada County for $400," Lombard said.

One of her bosses told her not to worry.

"He gave me the papers to fill out for workers comp and said it was going to be taken care of," she said.

But the bill never got paid and Lombard continued receiving statements in the mail. The news, she said, continued to get worse.

 Karrie Lombard

"The owners told me it wasn't work related and there was no reason for workers comp should have to cover it," she said.

Her attorney, Breck Seiniger, disagrees.

"That's not accurate - she was an employee, had an accident and there's no question that it would be covered," Seiniger said.

The Boise attorney says if anyone gets into a situation such as Lombard, tell your employer that you know you're covered and if they don't listen, take the complaint to the Idaho Industrial Commission or even a lawyer.

"Coverage couldn't even be disputed in this case," he said.

The teen told KBOI-TV that she hopes it will all end positively and Souper Salad will finally pay the bill.

"I wouldn't have gone this far if I didn't think I shouldn't be responsible for it," she said. "it makes me really frustrated not a day goes by I don't have it on my mind and I just want to not have to think about it all the time."

Lombard now has a new job.

A co-owner of Souper Salad said she wanted to clear things up and would issue a statement to KBOI-TV about the matter. We have yet to receive a statement. Phone calls and messages to the restaurant have not been answered or returned.