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Family of firefighter claims insurance company owes $150,000 for line of duty death & More News


A family says they are being wrongfully denied thousands in insurance benefit money for a fallen West Islip firefighter’s line of duty death.

John Bradley had been a member of the West Islip Fire Department for over 30 years when he suffered a traumatic brain injury at a fire scene in May 2018.

He later died at a rehab facility, but the insurance company says his death was not related to his service to the community.

John Bradley’s son, Christopher Bradley, says his father died at the age of 76 and his name was even placed on New York’s Fallen Firefighters Memorial, which recognizes service-related deaths.

His family says they should have received a $150,000 line of duty death benefit but so far have gotten nothing.

“This person deserves his benefit,” Christopher Bradley says. “When you signed your name up on the dotted line and you took the oath saying you’d protect the community and you’ll stand up for the Constitution. And then for this to happen? It’s wrong.”

Following extensive brain surgery, John Bradley was at Our Lady of Consolation Rehab Center where he caught COVID-19 in April 2020.

The insurance company says because the firefighter’s death certificate says the virus killed him, they do not have to pay the insurance benefit money.

They wrote in a denial letter, “The death was due to consequences of COVID-19 and not a direct result of a covered activity with the West Islip Fire District.”

Christopher Bradley says the company is hiding behind loopholes and that it’s not right.

He says the money would be used to help his mother – who is still struggling with the loss of her husband.

The firefighter’s son says he hopes the insurance provider will consider why his father was in the rehab center in the first place.

“If he was not there for the line of duty injury, he would never have contracted COVID-19,” Christopher Bradley says

Arch Insurance and McNeil & Company were the two insurance providers that handled the case.

News 12 reached out to both for comment but did not hear back as of 10 p.m. Friday.

The family tried to contact the companies again in March of 2021. They were given a one-sentence response again saying their claim was denied.

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