April 20, 2019

Judge Orders Injured Worker to Allow Insurance Company to Examine His Computer

Last July, I wrote a post on this blog about how your Facebook profile could be used against you in your case.  The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation will allow defense counsel to introduce status updates and pictures to challenge your assertions that you are injured and cannot work.  This is in addition to the surveillance and other investigation that defense counsel use to impugn your credibility.

More recently I have learned of a case where the insurance company’s defense lawyer used a “request for the production of documents” to demand that an injured claimant turn over his personal computer to be examined by the lawyer.  As you may know, when you file a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia, both sides are allowed to demand information from the other per Georgia’ “discovery rules.”

Apparently, in this case, the insurance company believes that the claimant’s hard drive will reveal damaging information – perhaps photos, evidence of work or physical activity, or it may be just a fishing expedition.

Now, this was not my case, and at this point, at least, this demand for the claimant’s computer has not become a regular part of defense counsel’s arsenal, but I think that this type of request sets a very bad precedent.  I learned about this case in a monthly meeting I attend with a few other claimant’s lawyers who get together to discuss current developments in the law and winning strategies.  All of us in last month’s meeting were somewhat taken aback by this discovery request as well as the presiding judge’s approval of the request.  We all agreed that if any of use are involved in a case and the insurance company asks to look at our clients’ computers, we will fight this request vigorously. [Read more…]

Business Practices of Georgia Workers’ Comp Company Compared to Enron

The malpractice of a Georgia workers’ compensation company, which has been compared to the fraudulent actions of Enron, will ultimately have a large negative impact on innocent citizens.GA Workers' Comp Fraud

The State Insurance Commissioner’s office has begun a criminal investigation into SEUS, an insurance company that provided workers’ compensation insurance to dozens of Georgia communities.

Suspicions of SEUS, short for Southeastern U.S. Insurance Inc., began when department analysts learned that the company had engaged in questionable business practices with a hunting club it owned in Seminole County. SEUS had invested $10 million in the hunting club when the company was in no financial condition to make such an investment. Upon investigation, the department also discovered that SEUS was inflating company assets while drastically understating liabilities.

In October 2009, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thomas R. Campbell, Jr., ordered SEUS, which at the time held over 200 workers’ compensation policies and provided coverage to dozens of towns and school boards in Southern Georgia, into liquidation.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine was named as the liquidator. Following investigations into the company’s financial transactions, Oxendine compared the bookkeeping methods of SEUS’s former chief executive, M. Clark Fain III, to those of Enron.

Companies like Enron and SEUS, which are motivated by corporate greed, inexcusably disregard the large negative affect their misconduct will have on innocent citizens. Oxendine’s office has taken over the operation of the workers compensation insurer and is now authorized to sell off its assets to pay claims. SEUS has also been banned from involvement in further business.

Georgia Workers' Compensation blog online!

I am pleased to introduce the Georgia workers’ compensation blog. In the days and months to come, I will be posting case studies, observations about the Georgia workers’ compensation system and answers to your questions about Georgia workers’ compensation. Please let me know what you think and what you want to know.
–Jodi

[tags] georgia workers compensation, workman’s compensation georgia, jodi ginsberg, georgia workers’ comp information [/tags]