Firefighter still seeking decade-late back pay for injuries

Cindy Schuenke’s attorney said she is owed over $700,000 in back pay and benefits

ST. LOUIS — A former firefighter still has not been paid the back pay promised to her after an on-duty accident that occurred a decade ago.

Cindy Schuenke, 52, was fired from the Community Fire Protection District in 2009 after a life-threatening accident she suffered while fighting a house fire in 2006. She got caught under debris, was burned and shocked by a broken electrical wire until she broke free and escaped out of a window, reported the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“I just went through the floor. All the way to the basement,” Schuenke told KMOV.

Since then, Schuenke has had 96 surgeries, and nearly had her hand amputated. Her medical bills have totaled more than $1.5 million, which have been covered by insurance. 

Although a court ruled in 2013 that her firing a wrongful termination, she said she still has not been paid. Although she receives disability checks, they pale in comparison to the $700,000 her lawyer claims she’s owed in back pay and benefits.

“I’d love to go back to work. There’s always that fear it could happen again, but I would love to go back to work. That would be my number one. That always has been my goal to go back to work,” Schuenke said. 

A preliminary hearing has been set for Monday. 

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