North Carolina Workers' Compensation Newsletter: Two Curious Cases from Last Week

February 28, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Many North Carolina workers’ compensation news stories involve subtle and arcane discussions about insurance rates, employment policy, and the state’s fiscal strategy. This blog wanted to take some time out to examine two more “down to earth” stories that should hopefully pique your interest and stir up discussion.

1. First on the docket: crazy workers’ comp fraud case.

On February 23rd, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported an arrest for workers’ comp fraud. The owner of Streamline Framing Incorporated, Richard H. Woodle, allegedly engaged in “willful misrepresentations by an employer and unlawful practices” and was hit with felony charges. A local news outlet reported that the business owner made false reports to his workers’ comp insurer for three years to get out of paying his workers’ comp premiums. By lying to his insurer, “it is estimated that Woodle avoided paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in premiums.” The man could face a decade behind bars for felony workers’ comp fraud.

2. Story No. 2: KFC retaliation.

A KFC worker claims that his employers retaliated against him for filing for workers’ comp.

Most North Carolina workers’ compensation claims (and claims from other states) involve straightforward scenarios. An office worker gets carpel tunnel syndrome and then seeks benefits to pay for her hand surgery, for instance. Or a hurt dockworker struggles with an insurance company to get fair payment for his disability.

An Illinois worker at a KFC has filed suit in Madison County Circuit Court, alleging that his employers fired him for filing a claim. Michael Franklin managed a KFC on Johnson Road for more than 8 years. Last January, he reported an injury to his employer and made a claim pursuant to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. 11 months later, his employer fired him. Franklin wants Morgan Foods to pay him $100,000 for compensatory and punitive damages.

If you or someone you love has been engaged in a fractious dispute with an employer or insurance company over your benefits or another workplace issue, it may behoove you to get a free consultation from a reputable North Carolina workers’ compensation law firm.

More Web Resources:

Streamline Framing Incorporated workers’ comp fraud

KFC retaliation case