Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms Decision in Workers’ Compensation Fraud Case

In a recent case related to workers’ compensationCommonwealth v. Parker, Mass. App. Ct. (2015), the case arose out of a scenario in which the defendant was convicted by a jury of having purportedly misled a police officer engaged in a criminal investigation. The defendant appealed the decision, claiming that the evidence was insufficient to support her conviction.

The court included the following facts in its opinion. On the day of the incident, a police officer was dispatched to the location on a report of shots fired at a bus driver. The defendant (bus driver) informed the police officer that a person boarded the bus, brandished a weapon, and ordered her to give him all of her money. He then allegedly fired a shot at her, which caused a bullet to be lodged in the driver’s seat. The driver then attempted to stand in order to reach for her wallet, but the assailant hit her, causing her to fall backwards and resulting in injury. The assailant then allegedly fired three additional shots, two of which purportedly pierced her sleeve, but the bullet did not injure her.

The defendant then reportedly described her assailant to the police officer. She also purportedly informed the officer of the type of weapon that had been used.

A subsequent investigation revealed that the defendant’s later statements were apparently in conflict with her earlier report, and also that the location of the bullet holes in the jacket indicated that the defendant would have been injured if she had been wearing the jacket when a bullet passed through the sleeve. There was also a supposed statement from another driver that prior to the alleged incident, he saw what appeared to be the defendant’s bus, heading in the wrong direction with an out of service sign illuminated, and there didn’t appear to be anyone else on the bus.

Based on the circumstantial evidence, the jury convicted the defendant, under a purported theory that the defendant staged the incident in order to collect workers’ compensation.

The court reviewed the evidence as presented. Regarding the defendant’s challenge to the jury instructions, the court stated that the defendant did not challenge the jury instructions that the judge gave, so the appeals court reviewed them with a substantial miscarriage of justice standard, and it concluded that the judge’s instructions were free from error and clearly did not create a substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice. The judgment was therefore affirmed.

If you become injured at work, you’ll want to make sure that you’re represented by a workers’ compensation lawyer. The experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers at Pulgini & Norton offer comprehensive guidance and representation in these matters. We will assist you throughout the entire workers’ compensation claim process. Call our office today at (781) 843-2200, or you can contact us online in order to schedule an initial consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Massachusetts Court of Appeals Sides with Injured Police Officer in Workers’ Compensation Case, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, published April 7, 2015

Supreme Judicial Court Rules Against Commonwealth in Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Case, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, published March 25, 2015

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