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“Injured” Employee Caught Bench-Pressing 315 Pounds

Sometimes, dear readers, your humble blogger’s handlers fall asleep at the wheel, and I’m allowed to venture into the real world and meet new people.  During these inevitably awkward exchanges, I’m sometimes asked “what’s the world of workers’ compensation like?”  Often these prompt me to stare off into the horizon (you’ve seen movies) and think about what life in our little swamp is like.

Ponder, if you will, this story out of Orange County.  A certain gentleman (who, absent a conviction will remain nameless) has been charged with two felony counts of insurance fraud and two felony counts of making fraudulent statements.  Employed by the Orange County Social Services Agency, he claimed to have sustained an industrial injury to his shoulder, and, when he was assigned desk duty, claimed he was too hurt to operate a phone.  While on TTD, he was witnessed bench-pressing 315 pounds, and then telling his doctor, the next day, that he still couldn’t use his shoulder.

Although this doesn’t get spelled out in the news release, your humble blogger imagines that there’s more evidence available than just some witness.  In all likelihood, there’s recorded video and professional investigators ready to testify as to this case.

But, this is not atypical of workers’ compensation: accusations of the most brazen, obscene, ridiculous fraud; allegations of a man physically fit enough to bench press more than 300 pounds sucking the life-blood out of a social services organ of the government.

The employer in this case did the right thing and investigated – odds are someone, a co-worker or a friend probably even tipped them off.  And, if the DA’s office is moving forward, there’s likely plenty of evidence to support a conviction.

And so, the circus music plays in the background, and then your humble blogger is snapped back to the conversation at hand: “Well, you know, it’s just like anything else, I guess.”  But it isn’t…

Have a good weekend, dear readers!

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