And finally… catastrophe of a fall

And finally... catastrophe of a fall

An insurance company has filed a lawsuit claiming a fraud scheme involving staged construction site accidents in New York.

The lawsuit suggests that workers, along with some doctors and lawyers, have been fabricating falls to file workers’ compensation claims. These claims have sometimes reached millions of dollars. Video evidence seems to show workers at construction sites deliberately falling and later claiming significant injuries.

One clip shows a woman on a site in Fort George taking a small tumble and subsequently claiming permanent disability. Another shows a man in Queens who after a fall claimed spinal and knee injuries requiring surgery.

Insurance company Tradesmen has accused a group of doctors and lawyers of coaching people to stage these accidents. Over the past four years, Tradesmen alleges it has encountered over 650 fraudulent claims.

The alleged scam has led to increased insurance premiums, which in turn are raising the cost of construction and, as a result, the cost of housing.

A bill has been introduced to make such fraud a felony, highlighting the issue’s serious implications for the state’s economy. One law firm named in the lawsuit, Gorayeb and Associates, has denied any misconduct, dismissing the allegations as misrepresentations. Responses from relevant legal and occupational safety organizations in New York have not been forthcoming.

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