One of Our Own Needs Help

Why is Half Moon Bay refusing earned medical benefits and workman's comp to one of our own — Dennis Louball, a longtime Half Moon Bay police officer, who is fighting cancer?

One of our own has fallen and needs our help.

His name is Dennis Louball, a longtime Half Moon Bay police officer that moved to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office when Half Moon Bay disbanded its Police Department in favor of the Sheriff’s Office in 2011. 

Dennis started his law enforcement carrer with the Half Moon Bay Police Department in 1997. I have no doubt that everyone has, at one time or another, run into Dennis or have been helped by him in one way or another. He was a dedicated member of the Half Moon Bay Police Department and worked tirelessly for us in many ways. I know he was there for me more than once or twice.

Dennis, a Moss Beach resident, is married with two young children (boy and girl), one in elementary school and the other too young yet.

Dennis was first diagnosed with lymphoma in his leg immediately after the transition from Half Moon Bay Police Department to the Sheriff's Office. He fought it with chemo, and it was covered through his Sheriff's Office benefits. Being the person he is, he continued working, being a father and husband through his fight with cancer.

However, when the cancer came back from remission, stronger than it had been in the first place, the County informed him that they could no longer cover him because it appeared to be pre-existing from his Half Moon Bay Police Department days and therefore fell under Half Moon Bay’s Workman Comp. Half Moon Bay disputes that, just as they disputed another Half Moon Bay Police Department officer’s illness claim in the mid-2000’s; Officer Bogner’s claim.

Since coverage has been denied, Dennis has been forced to use up all his earned benefits — sick leave, vacation time and comp time just to pay his bills; normal bills that we all have plus his medical bills. Since he has exhausted all his accumulated resources of relief, he has resorted to what is called Catastrophic Leave. That allows other County employees to donate their earned and saved sick leave to Dennis so he can hopefully feed his family in these very difficult times.

Police and Fire fall under the CA Labor Code, which call cancer an injury, which then qualifies that individual the right to claim the illness under Workman’s Comp. That can be found under Section 3212 of the CA Labor Code; specifically, Section 3212.1, so the City of Half Moon Bay has a very prominent role in this matter per their contract with the Half Moon Bay Police Department Officer’s Association supported by California Labor Code. It is very clear.

This, for me, is deja-vu all over again. I remember the shaft Bogner got. I remember Bogner and his wife out in front of Safeway with a card table and large jar, collecting donations from locals to eat. It was ugly, yet after all was said and done, after he and his family suffered to Hell and back, the City finally accepted their responsibility and settled.

Half Moon Bay is refusing coverage for one of our own — Dennis Louball — a very nice person, a very dedicated person, a very hard and honest worker and longtime Half Moon Bay Police Officer forcing him and his family into poverty because of cancer, which is clearly covered under contract and California Code. The only thing left that Dennis may have is his dignity, and the City is taking that, too.

I have but one simple, but glaring question for Half Moon Bay: Why???

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Mae Matos February 23, 2013 at 08:27 PM
Every person in the HMB government should be ashamed of themselves, they should all be recalled. This officer has helped so many people on the coast that this is so wrong. SHAME ON YOU HMB!!!
Chelsea Liakos-Gilbert February 23, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Dennis is an amazing police officer and an ever better man and friend to everyone in HMB. I can remember bombarding him for stickers back at Cunha and still today he knows my name and greats me warmly at Safeway. I'm so ashamed that HMB would do this to a man who had served the city so well and selflessly. This is terribly wrong!
Love for Loubal February 25, 2013 at 07:24 AM
It came as a shock to many coastsiders that Dennis Loubal not only has been battling cancer, but has been fighting for his benefits as well. As the news has spread via word of mouth and social networking, many have expressed their concern, but have not found an outlet to offer their help. This is your chance to take action. We are planning fundraising events that will take a collaborative effort, so we need you! Please connect with us via facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/LoveForLoubal?fref=ts or via email at: loveforloubal@gmail.com. Let us know if you have any connections, resources, ideas, or are already hosting an event for Dennis Loubal, so we can coordinate and plan accordingly. “The Universal Brotherhood of man is our most precious possession” –Mark Twain Loubal is a huge part of the coastside family, and HMB does protect their own. Gabi Jensen, Kelsey Larson, Marshall Whelen & Nick Finlen
Albert Robinson February 25, 2013 at 04:46 PM
As a father of two active teens in Hmb, on several occassions I have seen Officer Loubal in action, he was always a presence on campus that the Kids could Respect and Trust, he was more than a cop, He was someone those kids could approach and be helped, He was trusted and Respected by the Students, not many Campus Police can say that. I am currently a Cancer survivor and personally know how devasting it can be, and it is a shame that the City in his time of need has appeared to of Failed this admirable man.
Albert Robinson February 25, 2013 at 04:49 PM
The City is know for poor judgement but this takes the Cake.
Brian Ginna February 26, 2013 at 12:51 AM
The City is not the one using "judgement" here. It is the insurance company. Mr. Robinson - you are way off base in your comment.
Tyler February 26, 2013 at 01:16 AM
This guy was a complete sleezeball, a liar, and a disgrace to the uniform. Are we all forgetting he helped cover up a judo coach molesting little boys?? Funny how no one seems to remember that. This guy used to flirt with every little teenage high school girl when he worked up there, and you little HMB townie peons are totally clueless...
George Muteff February 26, 2013 at 01:59 AM
I believe the City has options on which carrier they use for workman's comp, so yes Brian, there is some culpability here. One would think that after prior denials, but more-so the way they were denied might have been enough to get the City to change partners. Maybe this time will push them over the edge. Tyler, I'm sorry you feel that way. Unfortunate. I hope you are never stricken with or have to deal with cancer and an insurance denial like Dennis and others.
Tyler February 26, 2013 at 02:24 AM
I also hope nobody has to deal with that, but horrible circumstances are not sufficient to just forget what a dirtball Dennis really was. As someone who has personally seen him lie on police reports, to the way he disgustingly flirted with underage girls constantly, this man does not deserve my tax dollars paying for his misfortunes. I was unaware that HMB had surplus funds to throw around just because someone claims Dennis to be a "nice guy". If you had a daughter, you would not want this creep near your child. To disagree with that statement is to never have seen Dennis interact with girls at the high school
Brian Ginna February 26, 2013 at 02:33 AM
We get it, Tyler. Maybe someday you will truly understand. And by then you might also grow a backbone and not hide behind one name. Sad to see such young idiocy.
Deb Wong February 26, 2013 at 02:35 AM
Tyler - I was not aware of cover-ups and molestations, etc.,(if true). I am not in that "loop" of information. What I and the majority of people on here want to do is to assist someone who needs a helping hand right now. That assistance also includes the officer's family. When people donate to the Red Cross or other charitable causes, they don't ask themselves if the recipients are worthy, according to their moral standards. Same here.....and If that makes us "totally clueless" in your estimation, then this "HMB townie" is happy to at least have some compassion and empathy for a fellow human being and his family.
Tyler February 26, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Understand what?? I don't think he deserves my tax dollars, therefore I don't agree with him receiving compensation. Plain and simple. What am I not understanding, oh enlightened one? Save your neanderthal tough-guy rhetoric for some other moron
Brian Ginna February 26, 2013 at 02:45 AM
Oh, but the tough guy Tyler can throw around "sleezeball, a liar, and a disgrace" and "dirtball" and choose to remain anonymous because in reality he has no stones. How utterly clueless can one be? Your tax dollars, what pittance they are, are not going to make a difference here. We are making do just fine without them. Plain and simple - have some compassion for a guy who is down. Do not kick him.
Gina February 26, 2013 at 03:55 AM
Tyler... I was a teenage girl who delt with officer loubal all throughout my high school experience. He was the most honest, funny, witty cop in Hmb..... By far!!! Creepy? You have to have some serious daddy issues to think this man is a creep. He had nothing but love for the people of Hmb, and if he ever did something to make you feel otherwise, now is not the time to bring that up. This man is going through a hard time, so unless u have hard evidence of the accusations you are accusing him of, you need to shut up and keep your opinions to yourself. Loubal, if you do read this, you probably don't remember me, but i would joke with u while u were directing traffic at the bottom of the hill before school in the silver Tacoma.... Funny, not creepy
Greg Schwarz February 26, 2013 at 05:57 AM
Tyler, To be accurate, Officer Loubal was never accused of covering up the abuse, he was accused of not reporting it after having an off-duty conversation with the father of one of the victims. According to the district attorney's office, which conducted the investigation into the accusation, Officer Loubal, "strongly encouraged" the victim's father to report the allegations to on-duty officers and Officer Loubal was cleared of wrongdoing. If you are truly aware of illegal activities by Officer Loubal with underage girls, you have a moral obligation to report. it Furthermore, I find it odd that no other adult has reported the same perverted observations as you, including the teachers, administrators or other staff of the high school. Even more unusual is that none of these abused girls, who are adults now, have come forward to report the abuse that occurred while they were young impressionable teenagers. You would merely have to identify yourself by your real name to receive the recognition that you so truly deserve for exposing this molester in our midst, but it would also subject you to a slander suit if you could not prove your allegations.
bill February 26, 2013 at 03:27 PM
I myself as well as my family have also known Dennis since I was ten years old. I have never heard or seen or witnessed him being anything other than a fine outstanding officer, citizen and friend. For someone to come on here and accuse him of these outlandish things is laughable. He has done so much for half moon bay and its youth, the least we can do is try to help him during this terrible misfortune. No one should have to go through this.
Diane P. February 28, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Dennis Loubal is a great guy. My daughter read these things posted by "Tyler". She came to me upset and shocked that anyone would say these terrible lies about Officer Loubal. We have decided this is the last time we will mention this coward. He has no more of our energy waisted on him. To Dennis and his family, Our love and prayers are with you and we will do anything to help. Keep the faith!
George Muteff March 01, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Well folks, some good news: the benefit for Dennis at Cameron's is set! Date: April 6, 2013 - which is the 1st Saturday in April. This will be an opportunity for Dennis to say hello to all his well-wishers and an opportunity for us to see Dennis and say our piece - as well as show our support for him and the fight against cancer. The response, particularly here on Patch, has been overwhelmingly supportive for Dennis and has been recognized and very much appreciated. I, for one, would again like to thank all those that took the time to read this and comment plus the ones that just took the time to read it. This piece, this story about one of our own went viral, which has been a bit humbling and overwhelming for Dennis, but a truly wonderful gauge of community. I did not ask the time of the event, but for those interested, Cameron's phone number is 726-5705. I will speak with Cameron this weekend and get the time, which I will promptly post. This event might also be a good opportunity for others that may be thinking of doing something to perhaps think of coordinating. Just a thought, because I know there are others that have expressed an interest (like loveforloubal@gmail.com ).
Christian Fetter March 05, 2013 at 03:59 PM
The fact that this is happening is absolutely appalling. It's very heartbreaking that a man of the law, an officer sworn to protect the people he cares about and the country he loves, willing to do whatever it takes to keep the people of his community safe, is turned down for life saving opportunities. A man swears to be willing to sacrifice his life for the people, and then when the time comes where his life is actually on the line and there is nobody to help him? The very sound of these circumstances sounds as if the system is set up to take what we can from law officials and give nothing back. They might try to use some fancy lawyer lingo and technical tricks to avoid helping Loubal, but forget all that. It is simply inhumane do deny a man willing to sacrifice and protect his community the right to health care that could save his life. Simply disgusting, and utterly appalling!!!
George Muteff March 05, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Christian (& the others that feel the same way), what I think is appropriate is for HMB to change their WC provider. That would be a fair goal here, so that this travesty doesn't happen again - with the consistency and regularity that the current provider provides.
Michael G. Stogner March 05, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Was there ever a time period that Officer Dennis Louball was uninsured during the switch from HMBPD to SMCSO?
George Muteff March 06, 2013 at 01:40 AM
George Muteff March 06, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Good question, though
Christian Fetter March 06, 2013 at 08:50 PM
And Tyler! You're comments r disgusting, you sound like you just don't like police officers, there is definitely a time and place for these kinds of comments. U may have your reasons for not liking him, but I'm sure people have their reasons for not liking you, but even so, I'm sure you would want your community to step up n save your lifeif u were about to lose your life. Do you really think everything you said about him is really enough to condemn him to death? This man is a nice guy, and a police officer who swore to protect the people of his community, and even if the stuff you said is true, is that really enough to deny him the medical coverage needed to save his life? You need to grow up and look at the bigger picture n decide if everything u said about him is really enough to say he doesn't deserve to live
Christian Fetter March 06, 2013 at 08:54 PM
How do we get them to change their WC provider?
George Muteff March 06, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Christian, the best way that I can think of is through public pressure. So, the best way that I can think to create political pressure for change would be to write to all Council members. Write early, write often. Ask questions, which will illicit responses. Make them even one tenth as uncomfortable as their carrier has made those that needed help feel through the years and been "Denied". Workman's Comp is law. Who provides that insurance, however, is open. HMB needs to change providers. Should have done so years ago, when they first got wind of the provider they have handles cases. One has to wonder why a change hasn't already been changed. It almost appears that the leadership we've had over the years on the Council just doesn't care - because they know and have known how City employees have been treated by their carrier. Write letters / write emails / call them and pester them on why they have this provider and how they feel about Dennis and so many others being denied. Of course, you will get the standard - I can't talk about it / it's a personnel issue / I can't, it won't, it can't, and all the other excuses one can imagine; but just remember...it was the Council that chose this provider. It is the Council that can change providers. They are the only ones that can.
Christian Fetter March 07, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Ultimately who does the decision to cover his expenses lie on?
George Muteff March 07, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Well Christian, thanks for the lob. This is pretty black and white, best I can tell. The answer to your question, with all the clutter wiped away, is simple: this lays squarely in the lap of the City's Council. They are the ones that determine who the provider is and will be. Look at it as just another outsource. Suppose you hired a contractor to build a home. The contractor subs out the plumbing. The house is built and you move in. Happy days! Then, after working hard to move in, you decide to take a shower. You step into the tub, turn on the water, and every water line in the house explodes. Who are you going to call? the sub, or the contractor (just before your lawyer)? The City Council makes the call on who they choose as their provider.
Christian Fetter March 14, 2013 at 04:15 AM
I'm sort of new to this whole situation, I don't know how I even just recently found out about this, but what is the overall situation right now? Can he still get covered? Has he been covered? Can we really do things to help him get covered or just fundraisers?
Elizabeth V. March 14, 2013 at 11:10 PM
First, We "HMB Townies" are not "Peons"... Your ignorant to say so. And we are not clueless. Many of us Know Dennis very well and on a friendship level, you obviously did not know him that well. Dennis has been a beloved Cop in our town for a very long time! It is so very inappropriate to post anything other than condolences and support at this time. If you have other things to say then you should been directing your opinions elsewhere! I have grown up in HMB my entire life and Dennis has always been kind and thoughtful. He earned the respect of so many people in town as a good Cop and a good Human Being!!! I was in 7th grade when I met Dennis, I have seen him in uniform around town and hanging out with his family out at dinners, in the local gym, coffee shops, you name it.... and myself, ALL my friends, my mom, my sister, my dad have never felt that he flirted with underage girls or made anyone uncomfortable! Everybody adored Dennis and felt safe having him work in our town. All the teenagers (girls and guys alike) liked Dennis because he seemed to understand that kids were kids and he dealt with us better than most other adults in our lives... Maybe you just saw him being friendly to those people that were friendly to him. I highly doubt any girl ever felt uncomfortable around Dennis... He is a stand up guy and does not deserve your accusations that you cant even support with evidence! Maybe your the sleezeball, and dirtball !!!


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