A female employee went out on a Workers Comp claim due to the repetitive motion injury “carpal tunnel syndrome” in both wrists. She and her doctor indicated that she had a fairly severe case of carpal tunnel and could not use either arm or wrist for lifting, twisting or typing.
Surveillance was approved, and initially we did not see any evidence contrary to the claimant’s allegations. But rumors persisted in the workplace that the claimant was not as injured as she claimed.
Since the holiday season was approaching, I suggested that we conduct surveillance near Christmas, thinking we might find the claimant involved in typical holiday activities inconsistent with her claimed injuries.
In handling Disability investigations it pays to have a working knowledge of the game of golf. It is remarkable how often one ends up near and some-times on a golf course in pursuit of documentation in the matter of questionable claims.
Sometimes one can prepare and sometimes not. In the case at hand two of us had flown into the subject’s city on short notice.We had picked up the subject exiting his garage and followed, arriving shortly thereafter at an upscale public golf course. Time to think fast.
Sometimes the claimants with bogus injuries are so incautious that one could suspect they desire enough restraint (provided by others) in order to straighten themselves out.
Our claimant worked for a roofing company and went out on temporary disability alleging a back injury. Had he stayed at home, watching daytime TV, his income stream would have been secure.
It was the best of times (getting paid without having to work), then it was the worst of times (getting busted). Not an uncommon trajectory for those inclined to fraud, whose daily activities we are asked to monitor and document. But getting this file from “best” to “worst” was no walk in the park and required a highly developed sense of smell as it applies to false claims.
Our subject was a “disabled” construction worker (back, shoulders, wrists). Our first surveillance produced no film of the subject, although we saw plenty of other people in and around his address. A reopen of the investigation several months later looked like itwas going the same route. The investigator canvassed the area and determined our subject had moved and found the new address only a few blocks away.