Officer's misrepresentations justify disqualification of past, future benefits
Case name: Ostego County Sheriff's Department, 111 NYWCLR 248 (N.Y.W.C.B. 2011).
Ruling: The New York Workers' Compensation Board found that an officer was disqualified from indemnity benefits because he misrepresented his disability.
What it means: In New York, a worker's serious misrepresentation of his disability to the carrier's doctor in contrast to video evidence showing he engaged in very athletic physical movement without tentativeness warrants both mandatory and discretionary penalties disqualifying him from past and future indemnity benefits.
Summary: A corrections officer for a sheriff's department injured his left leg in an altercation with an inmate. Thirteen years later, he told the carrier's doctor that his left leg was unstable and that he had episodes of falling down as a result. He told the doctor he had "no particular hobbies." Video evidence showed the officer engaged in very athletic physical movement without tentativeness indicative of a person with an unstable left knee. His first-degree black belt test in tae kwan do occurred less than two months before the doctor's examination. The board found the officer made a material misrepresentation of the truth. Based on these serious misrepresentations, the board found the officer was subject to a mandatory penalty of disqualification of indemnity benefits and a discretionary penalty.
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February 23, 2012
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