Court of Appeal rules on fraud conviction and still allows employee to collect benefits
- Posted By: Harvey Brown
- December 1, 2017
This is a Certified case of the court of appeal
This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.
The applicant injured his hand at work. The injury was admitted. The applicant was evaluated by a physician who indicated the applicant would not allow the doctor to perform grip or pinch strength tests on his hand.
The applicant had a psychiatric component and was on opiates. The applicant indicated that he could not use the hand.
The carrier obtained video surveillance. The surveillance saw him removing his sling after doctor visits and using the injured hand. He lifted a washing machine into the back of his car.
The physician reviewed the video and still awarded a whole person impairment.
The applicant was prosecuted for workers’ compensation fraud and was convicted and paid restitution.
The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) gave the applicant a 70 per cent award in spite of the fraud. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) agreed with the WCJ.
The court of appeal reviewed the fraud statutes 1871.4 and 1871.5. They also reviewed the Tensfeldt case. Entitlement to receive benefits after a conviction will require an industrial injury, medical evidence supporting an award not stemming from the fraud, and the claimant’s credibility is not destroyed. That was the case here so the award stood.
Case: Ford v. WCAB (Hernandez)
- Posted In: Fraud