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Mother of octuplets' previous claims come to light

February 3, 2009 |  6:58 pm

More details began to emerge Tuesday about Nadya Suleman, the Whittier mother of newborn octuplets and six other children.

Records show that Suleman, 33, had filed for workers’ compensation in 1999 while employed as a psychiatric technician at Metropolitan State Hospital.

Details for the claim were not available. In 2001, Suleman filed a second claim with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board for "injury to neck, back and shoulders from auto accident on commute for medical treatment," according to records filed with the California Department of Industrial Relations.

The records indicate that her actual earnings at the time of injury were "max," but no specific dollar amount was provided. Suleman received treatment for the injuries that were covered by her employer or insurance company, records show.

She was not covered by Medi-Cal. Patricia Ortiz, public information officer for the state Division of Workers' Compensation, said that "max" earnings means that Suleman was earning at least $490 per week at the time of her injury.

The claim was filed, records stated, because of a disagreement regarding liability for: temporary disability indemnity, permanent disability indemnity, reimbursement for medical expense, medical treatment, compensation at proper rate and rehabilitation. Additional records show that on Sept. 25, 2008, a petition was filed to compel Suleman to attend a medical exam with "petition to terminate liability for temporary disability indemnity."

No other details about Suleman’s case were available. Since the birth last week of the octuplets, Suleman has come under criticism for undergoing fertility treatment despite the fact she already had six children and was a single mother. It does not appear that Suleman was working, though she has been attending school at Cal State Fullerton, where she was pursuing a master’s degree in counseling.

Meanwhile, officials at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center said Tuesday afternoon that the octuplets continue to do well. “The world might see them as octuplets, but in our [unit] they are eight individual babies with their own personalities and needs," said Mandhir Gupta, a neonatologist. Officials said the babies were breathing on their own and receiving a nutritional supplement intravenously that is tailored to their individual needs. They are also being fed donated pasteurized breast milk.

--Kimi Yoshino and Jessica Garrison

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