• Doctor says bodybuilding correction officer allegedly disabled for 20 years shouldn't return to work


    FOX UNDERCOVER (MyFoxBoston.com) -- A former state worker out on disability for 20 years also often enters bodybuilding competitions. FOX Undercover introduced you to the bodybuilder back in May and after our report, the state pushed for answers.

    "I'm in good shape, yeah," 45-year-old Mark Lovell said. "I can still try to stay in shape and do what I can do but I have my limitations, absolutely, 100 percent,"

    The state decided to send the former correction officer turned bodybuilder to a state doctor to see if he should go back to work given that he had been collecting since he left his job on disability when he was 26 years old after being injured on the job three times. He's collected a tax free disability pension ever since, which paid him $33,000 last year.

    In May, he insisted his injuries are legitimate and that you "don't have to lift a lot of weight to be in shape." He went on to say it was "genetics and diet" that got his body into shape.

    But Dr. David Kim, an orthopedic spine surgeon at New England Baptist Hospital, who performs spinal fusions was skeptical when we showed him the videos.

    So Lovell underwent an independent medical evaluation and a doctor determined that he was unable to go back to work as a corrections officer and the state law says that in order to force someone on disability back to work that person must return to the same position or one that is similar.

    Since 1997, Massachusetts has forced only 117 of the more than 15,000 state and local public employees on disability in the Commonwealth back to work.

    After the independent medical evaluation went in Lovell's favor, he said he's never tried to hide anything and has done everything the state asked him to. He's now scheduled for more spinal surgery.

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