BOSTON (CBS) – Saugus widow Maura Shaw has been fighting the state of Massachusetts for more than a decade. Her husband Kenneth Shaw, a Boston Police officer for almost thirty years contracted Hepatitis C on the job.
“When he was a police officer during the early 70’s, 80’s they didn’t have gloves or wear gloves or they weren’t the right type of gloves to have and he worked on numerous murder cases,” explains Stephanie Frye, Maura and Ken’s daughter.
Ken died from the disease in 1998, but Maura and her four children were denied his line of duty death benefits. The state wanted proof that he got sick on the job, according to Maura, “It was pretty frustrating. Every time that we went before the state they rejected the offer just because they needed a particular case and we couldn’t come up with that.”
WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports
That left Maura to struggle with mounting piles of bills. She was forced to sell her diamond wedding ring and even lost her home.
Still, the state hasn’t changed its mind.
“She deserves this money that my father worked for, it’s his disability and she should have gotten it a long time ago,” says Stephanie.
But the Shaw family is feeling renewed hope. Not only has the Boston Police Department opened a cold case pinpoint when and how Ken contracted Hepatitis C, now State Representative Martin Walsh is getting involved.
He introduced a bill just last week that would open the door to get Maura her husband’s benefits and says, “She would receive 72% of his pension that she is rightfully entitled to.”
“We know that we have a lot of support from a lot of people who are reaching out to their representatives saying this isn’t fair this isn’t right,” says Stephanie who together with her mother, are hoping that since their case is getting some attention, the state will finally help them.