One way not to claim workers’ compensation

One way not to claim workers’ compensation

Of all people, a Baltimore City cop illustrated in spades that falsifying a workers compensation claim can be very, very costly and have the exact opposite of the comfortable security he apparently was seeking.

Recently a jury didn’t appear to buy the detective’s story that he was shot and injured in a confrontation with a criminal as a SWAT team scoured a parking garage; he was judged guilty on both perjury and misconduct charges. Now, instead of a carefree leave or even retirement, he faces years in prison, including workers’ comp fraud that alone carries a maximum of 15 years. His sentencing is scheduled for October 21.

The Baltimore City homicide detective stood accused of deliberately shooting himself in the leg with the hope of collecting workers’ compensation. His plan failed to work simply because there was no evidence of an assailant found at a downtown parking garage. There were only police issue expended rounds found scattered on the deck, and numerous cops swore there was no one in the building. The now convicted cop described a gunman as a black male sporting a hoodie. Unfortunately the garage in question was festooned with surveillance cameras that turned up no evidence to buttress his fairy tale.

Indeed, a supervisor with the city police SWAT team, testified that platoons of officers swept through the parking garage within minutes of the accused emotionally reporting the shooting over his radio. Exits were immediately locked down and SWAT members swept the garage clearing it floor-by-floor. Seven cops searched the garage roof and the roof of a nearby building. There were no signs of any suspect.

The jury was taken on a “jury view” trip to the scene of the alleged crime, a relatively usual procedure. The accused was charged with presenting false testimony at a workers’ compensation hearing. There he told commissioners that he wrestled with the gunman, who took off running up the stairs. The Baltimore cop said he chased the suspect but then backed off, believing he was out of rounds. In all the excitement, he then fell down the stairs, injuring his shoulder.

The obvious moral of the sad story is that it is hard enough to get a workmans’ comp package even with the advice and counsel of a good attorney. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot to try and make the point.

Source: Fox 45, “Baltimore City Detective Convicted on Perjury, Misconduct Charges” No author given, Aug. 21, 2013

Greenberg Law Offices