Workers' Compensation

Federal: 11th Circuit Affirms Postal Worker’s Conviction of 33 Counts of Workers’ Compensation Fraud

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, in relevant part, a jury’s findings that an Alabama letter carrier was guilty of 33 counts of workers’ compensation fraud in connection with benefits received following a work-related injury. In 2001, the postal worker suffered an admitted injury when another vehicle struck his mail truck. He underwent treatment the following year. Based upon a statement to his doctor that “driving was bothering him,” the treating physician restricted the postal worker’s driving for no more than 30 minutes at a time. This limitation presented a practical problem as the worker lived more than 30 minutes from the Birmingham office that could have served as his work site. Because the Postal Service could not find him a limited-duty position closer to his home, the worker remained unemployed and received workers’ compensation benefits for more than a decade. Beginning in late 2011, however, surveillance by the Postal Service Office of Inspector General showed the postal worker working out with a girlfriend at least an hour five to seven times each week. Other evidence showed that he had performed remodeling work at his own home and that he had helped the girlfriend remodel portions of her residence and that he regularly drove long distances without problems. The court held that there was more than sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to base its determination that the postal worker had violated 18 U.S.C.S. § 1920. Evidence suggested he had knowingly and willfully falsified, concealed, or covered up material facts related to his medical condition and that he was, therefore, guilty of worker’s compensation fraud.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See United States v. Slaton, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16285 (11th Cir., Sept. 14, 2015) [2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16285 (11th Cir., Sept. 14, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 39.03 [39.03]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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