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Man fakes work injury for prescription drugs


For most Erie residents, getting hurt on the job is a serious matter that can impact a person and his family's abilities to pay bills and buy necessary items. Getting temporary and sometimes permanent financial support from employers, workers compensation and other sources becomes a necessary component of making in through the difficult time of a work injury.

Not many people would probably be able to come up with a reason to pretend to have job-related injuries, but one American man did in order to scam his state's workers' compensation benefits system. The man, who is in his early forties, went to various hospitals and claimed that he had work-related injuries. He presented a variety of minor abrasions and other issues that doctors treated with pain medications and other drugs. Though the man claimed to be an ironworker, he did not possess such a job nor did he provide the medical facilities with his real name or social security number.

Over the course of several months the man filed more than 50 workers' compensation claims and filled many prescriptions for Vicodin, Percocet and other medications. Police and hospitals used surveillance videos to uncover his scam and he was eventually arrested. He faces multiple charges and will now go to criminal court for his crimes against the workers' compensation system.

Aside from being completely illegal, this man's actions are an affront to the hardworking men and women who legitimately require the assistance of workers' compensation programs to get through their work-related injuries. When people abuse a system in such an egregious manner it can make it more difficult for honest workers to get what they need when they are in a vulnerable position.

As the criminal justice system deals with this individual, many other people with real work-related injuries might be wondering how a person goes about filing a workers' compensation claim. Workers' compensation attorneys can help such individuals file the appropriate paperwork and meet any required deadlines to help ensure that they and their families are taken care of during periods of injury-related unemployment.

Source: KOMO.com, "Man charged with faking on-the-job injuries for painkillers," Michael Harthorne, Dec. 23, 2013

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