North Dakota’s state worker’s compensation agency has denied a death claim filed on behalf of a Burleigh County sheriff’s deputy.
Bryan Sleeper collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack Sept. 28 while helping make an arrest.
The Bismarck Tribune reports that widow Lana Sleeper has requested reconsideration.
Her attorney, Steve Little, says Workforce Safety and Insurance is asserting that the cause of death was not the incident and unusual stress but a preexisting condition.
WSI director Bryan Klipfel says employees are typically covered as long as they pass required physicals and have been tobacco-free for two years.
Little says Sleeper had used chewing tobacco in the two years prior to his death, though he had quit six weeks before he died. He says he’s always passed his physicals.
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