Dancing Hamster Caught In Workers Compensation Scandal

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You’re not alone. Our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers have been called the best in the state, and we pride ourselves on providing you with care, trust, and responsiveness.

ABC News reports on employee workers compensation fraud but misses the full story once again.

ABC News published another story about employee workers compensation fraud. This time it’s a dancing hamster from the popular Kia commercials. Leroy Barnes, a resident of Los Angeles, is accused of claiming $51,000 in disability benefits while working as a backup dancer.

This comes on the heels of an ABC News investigation regarding a woman caught on the Price Is Right while collecting workers compensation. The video caused several groans around our office.

We think ABC News is missing the full story on workers compensation fraud. Issues such as employee misclassification and premium fraud rarely get much attention. We acknowledge some bad apples exist but take issue with one-sided reporting.

The largest workers compensation carrier in Michigan, Accident Fund, is on record saying employee fraud occurs in less than 4% of cases. But the general public is still under the impression that fraud is out-of-control and only perpetrated by employees. Special interest groups use these misconceptions to attempt “reform” for their benefit.

Professor Leonard T. Jernigan Jr. recently compiled a list of 2013′s Top 10 Workers’ Compensation Fraud Cases. Employee fraud added up to just $1,500,000.00 while employer fraud represented $44,962,492.00.

Number five on Professor Jernigan’s list involved a California landscaping business accused of more than 1 million dollars in fraud. It is alleged that dozens of employees were misclassified as having jobs that were far less dangerous than they actually were. This resulted in artificially low insurance premiums.

Another major problem is when employers intentionally misclassify employees as independent contractors. Workers compensation is supposed to pay for medical care when an accident occurs. If there is no coverage, health insurance and government programs end up with the bill. This results in higher costs for everybody.

Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a case. We have represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation.

Related information:

Our 2 cents on insurance company fraud
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Collection Agency.

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Author Bio Jeffrey Kaufman

Author
Jeffrey E. Kaufman
Michigan Workers Comp Attorney

Jeffrey E. Kaufman has extensive experience in workers compensation cases and has recovered millions of dollars in benefits for his clients. He believes all injured workers deserve to be on equal footing with insurance companies and employers, and fights tenaciously so their rights are secured and protected.


“Jeff also helped me with getting my Blue Cross bills paid. I would absolutely recommend him and the whole firm. Jeff and the firm did everything they were supposed to do for me and my case.”
Ricardo Perfetto

Hundreds of 5-Star Reviews

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Get Help From our Michigan Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today

You’re not alone. Our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers have been called the best in the state, and our clients love how they’re treated with care, respect, and responsiveness. We will give you the time you need, we will explain your legal rights, and we will always treat you with respect.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Injured? It’s Time to Get Some Answers

Don’t let the insurance adjuster push you around. Request your free consultation today.

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This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Our attorneys post regularly about common issues related to workers’ comp, including common injuries, settlement calculations, laws, and more.

Our workers’ compensation and Social Security disability lawyers always put your needs first. Get to know your legal team.