Check Out These 5 Weird Workers’ Compensation Cases
When you have been a New York Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for a while, quite naturally over the years you get to some crazy things. Here are a few of the memorable matters that have come across my desk.
1- I once had a case in which my client was injured in a car accident and the insurance company challenged whether my client was even at the scene of the accident and whether a serious accident had even occurred. At the first hearing, a young attorney for the insurance company asked to see the police report and he immediately said he would accept the claim. It turned out, by a bizarre coincidence, the attorney for the insurance company had been involved in the very same accident, realized this, and informed the insurance company that the claim was indeed valid and needed to be accepted.
2- Another time, we had a case in which we represented a man and a woman who were husband and wife both hurt at the same time while working together. They chose to see the same doctor and the insurance company sent them to the same doctor to defend the claim. The treating doctor testified that the workers were completely disabled while the insurance doctor testified the workers were all better. In front of the same judge, with the same doctors testifying exactly the same way, the judge found the wife to be totally and permanently disabled while she found the husband to have been completely cured. On appeal, the same result. The wife received lifetime payments while the husband got nothing.
3- We had a case in which the insurance doctor said our client was all better and the treating doctors said he could not work. The judge ruled that the worker could not work and made awards. Then the insurance company sent our client to the same doctor. We told him not to go since we knew that if the doctor didn’t think there was any problem before, he would say the same thing again. But, the Workers’ Compensation Board ordered our client to see this doctor again, the doctor came to the same opinion that our client was fine, and we had to have the same three doctors testify all over again.
4- We had a case in which the carrier alleged our client was working as a superintendent in a building while stating he was not working. They showed the judge a video of the client using a key to allow a meter reader into the building. Our client testified he was married to the super, his wife, and she had given him the key. The carrier didn’t believe this, asked for the wife to testify, and she came to court and proved that indeed she was working and our client was not.
5- We had a case in which our client was receiving $350 for life. The carrier offered a buyout of $100,000. Our client demanded $110,000, only $10,000 more. The carrier refused to budge and paid our client another 18 years for a total of more than $325,000 before changing its mind and coming up with the extra 10 thousand to settle.
These are a few my believe it or not cases. Or as they say, you can’t make this up.