Oklahoma City ready to settle police recruit widow's claim

The city attorney's office recommends the city council approve a $25,000 settlement with Elke Meeus, whose husband died after an accident at the police training academy.
by William Crum Published: December 14, 2013

Oklahoma City is set to settle an insurance claim filed by the widow of police recruit Kelley Chase, who died after a training accident.

The city attorney is recommending the city council approve a $25,000 settlement.

Chase, 38, died Oct. 13, 2012, of head injuries suffered during a training exercise at the police academy. An Air Force veteran, he had completed 20 weeks of the 26-week course.

Elke Meeus filed a claim against the city, saying she and her two children were improperly denied $41,000 in life insurance benefits.

She said her husband opted for $122,000 worth of supplemental life insurance coverage — three times his annual salary — when he joined his recruit class in May 2012.

The insurance company agreed to pay $81,000, double Chase's salary.

Meeus said paperwork was mishandled by the city or the insurance company.

In a memo to the city council, city attorney Ken Jordan said there was no documentation that the city mailed to Chase a form required to qualify for life insurance at three times his salary.

The $25,000 proposed settlement is the maximum allowed under state law, Jordan wrote.

by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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