Dashcam video was improperly excluded with no opportunity to authenticate
- Posted By: Harvey Brown
- January 28, 2022
This is a Board Panel order granting removal
This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.
The applicant was a truck driver and claimed an injury arising out of and in the course of employment. He claimed he had an injury in a confrontation with police officers. The defendant wished to provide dashcam footage showing the applicant provoked police officers and was the “initial physical aggressor”.
The defendant listed the video in the preconference statement but did not list any authenticating witnesses to testify about chain of custody, equipment used, and whether the video was edited.
A trial was held and the applicant objected to the admissibility of the video. The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) ruled the dashcam footage inadmissible due to lack of authentication. The WCJ denied the defendant witness as to the authenticity of the video because the witness was not listed on the pre trial statement.
Defendant filed for removal on the basis other panel decisions had allowed the video based on authentication by applicant’s testimony and circumstantial evidence.
The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) ruled that the WCAB is not bound by common law or statutory laws of evidence and procedure. A percipient witness testimony that the video is authenticate is allowed. Therefore, the WCJ was overruled.
Johnson v Lexmar Distributor
Samuelsen, Gonzalez, Valenzuela & Brown
3501 Jamboree Suite 602
Newport Beach, Ca 92660
- Posted In: Technicalities, Work Injury