matt brooke, scott maddasion

In this June 2020 file photo, Clinton City Administrator Matt Brooke visits with Clinton Mayor Scott Maddasion before a council meeting. In a Monday press release, the City of Clinton directed residents to Brooke for an explanation of the City’s lien against damages awarded for firefighters’ medical bills following a January 2019 explosion.

CLINTON — Following criticism from residents, the City of Clinton issued a statement Monday explaining why it will try to recover medical costs from a lawsuit filed against ADM.

“On May 5, The Clinton Herald published a factually accurate article reporting the City of Clinton filed a lien in the ongoing lawsuit filed by the families of firefighters Eric Hosette and Adam Cain against Archer Daniels Midland Corporation,” the City said.

“The lawsuit arose out of serious injuries suffered by Adam Cain and the death of Eric Hosette, which occurred in a January 2019 fire at the ADM facility.

“Some citizens reacted negatively to the article and drew conclusions critical of the City based on an inaccurate understanding of the legal system,” said the City’s press release.

“In social media posts, these citizens alleged that, by filing its lien, the City is ‘going after’ the families. This is utterly untrue. The firefighters’ medical bills were fully paid by the City of Clinton, both because the law requires it and because the City felt it had a moral responsibility to care for the firefighters, who acted heroically and in the highest traditions of the fire service on the day the tragedy occurred.

“Although the families paid nothing whatever for the medical care of the firefighters, their lawsuit nonetheless demands reimbursement for these medical bills. In personal injury cases, if medical bills were already paid by a third-party, such as the City or an insurance company, that third party is entitled to reimbursement for the medical bills paid. The families cannot ‘double dip’ for expenses they never paid.

“The actions of the City Council in directing the filing of the lien was a perfectly normal and appropriate action, which allows the taxpayers to be reimbursed for medical bills properly attributable to the defendants in the lawsuit. In no way should this action be viewed as ‘going after’ the families.

“The families are seeking much broader damages than medical bills, and the City’s actions have nothing to do with those broader damages. If citizens have further questions about the lien filed by the City, they should call City Administrator Matt Brooke,” the City said.

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