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    Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal Filed Workers Comp Claim For Injuries Exiting John Kerry's '04 Campaign Jet; Council Will Vote On City Attorney Recommended Award: $10,500 + Provision For Lifetime Medical Care As Necessary

    (August 5, 2006) -- Then-Councilwoman, now Vice Mayor, Bonnie Lowenthal filed a Workers Compensation Claim for injuries she sustained while exiting 2004 Presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry's private campaign jet after she was invited to greet the Democrat candidate as he was preparing to depart Long Beach Airport following a nearby campaign appearance.

    Lowenthal slipped and fell on a stairway from the campaign jet, seriously injuring her ankle and arm. The injuries were not trivial and involved surgery and absence from Council meetings.

    Sen. Kerry's campaign jet was about to leave LB Airport after an August 12, 2004 Kerry "Believe In America" campaign stop at Cal State University Dominguez Hills where the Massachusetts Democrat offered what his campaign called a "plan to keep jobs in the United States and make our economy work for all American families...Throughout the 'Believe in America' tour, John Kerry and John Edwards have talked directly to voters about their vision to make America stronger at home and respected in the world..."

    An August 13, 2004 Press-Telegram report says a "contingent of Long Beach city officials was invited to greet the Democratic presidential candidate on his way out of town" and says they were also "treated to a brief tour of Kerry's campaign jet."

    A letter on behalf of City Attorney Robert Shannon by Principal Deputy City Attorney Barbara de Jong recommends paying $10,500 to Lowenthal, based on a 12% disability rating, with a provision for lifetime medical care as may be necessary. is uncertain as we post if recently-elected 2nd district Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal will be voting on the Council agenda item affecting her mother-in-law.

    At the July 18 City Council meeting, Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal was elected Vice-Mayor by her LB Council colleagues (9-0). She was also recently named to a voting position on the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority governing board (which includes all of L.A. County's Supervisors, plus L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, plus several Councilmembers from L.A. and other area cities).

    The agendized Council transmittal letter is headed, "Recommendation to authorize the City Attorney to submit Stipulations with Request for Award for approval by the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, and if so approved, authority to pay $10,500.00 in compliance with the Appeals Board Order for Bonnie Lowenthal." Like other LB Workers Comp cases, the stipulations are not included in the Council's agenda package.

    The City Attorney office letter states: "Bonnie Lowenthal has made a claim for injuries allegedly sustained in the course of her employment with the City of Long Beach. The Economic Development and Finance Committee on August 8, 2006, approved the submission to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board of Stipulations with Request for Award by the City and Bonnie Lowenthal, based upon a 12 percent disability rating, with provision for lifetime medical care as may be necessary."

    The recommendation is part of an August 8 agenda item paralleling Workers Comp items routinely appearing on the Council's "consent calendar" (items approved without discussion unless requested by a Councilmember or a member of the public.) The City Attorney letter assumes the item will be approved earlier on August 8 by the Council's Economic Development and Finance Committee.

    Additional details were not included in the agendized materials [and aren't routinely provided for other Workers Comp claims filed with City Hall].

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