Disabled Former Fireman Awarded Nearly $13 Million

Disabled Former Fireman Awarded Nearly $13 Million

He chops wood, throws horseshoes, and dances the twist! Does he sound like a man on disability? Well he is...the former fireman was awarded nearly $13 million because he was injured on the job and said he was too sick to work anymore.

Mark Jones was once a Seattle firefighter, a 10-year veteran so hunky he was chosen for a beefcake calendar.

In 2003, Jones got up in the middle of the night and mistook a door for the bathroom but it was actually the open pole shaft that firemen use to slide down to waiting fire trucks.

Jones fell 15 feet and suffered terrible injuries. His career was over. He sued the city and was awarded a whopping $12.7 million.  

But the city thought something was suspicious and hired investigators to follow Jones with hidden cameras. They found him doing yard work, hauling groceries, and even dancing. So is he a faker or are his disabilities for real?

"Just because you can walk and talk doesn't mean you're not horribly, horribly injured," says attorney Sim Osborn.

Osborn, who is not connected with the case, says what the video doesn't show is Jones's traumatic brain injuries. The 46-year-old has a permanent morphine drip and in his deposition, Jones appeared thoroughly confused.

"I feel like I'm 80 years old," he said.

The man who used to appear in the fireman's calendar is now 40 pounds overweight, tires easily, gets lost easily, and has a tough time remembering anything.

Now, a judge is upholding the $13 million verdict, saying there was no fraud.

"You're only seeing snippets of his life. You're not seeing his entire life," Osborn says.

The city is appealing the judge's decision.