It’s not unusual for employees who claim they were injured on the job to get caught working or playing sports without the alleged effects of their injuries. In this case, the worker claimed he needed to use a wheelchair. But the worker was caught walking perfectly by …
… the judge presiding over a lawsuit he’d filed in connection with the alleged incident.
Steven Harder of Woodland, CA, claimed he’d fallen from an excavator on May 5, 2004, causing a severe brain injury. But authorities say he was actually injured in a non-work auto crash.
Harder said he became very sensitive to light and his overall vision was poor.
He was awarded workers’ comp benefits and collected $414,171 from State Fund Insurance.
He also sued the manufacturer of the excavator. That lawsuit was settled for $20,000.
But Harder’s alleged fraud was uncovered during the lawsuit against the excavator manufacturer. Harder had shown up for court using a wheelchair. At a lunch recess, the judge witnessed Harder walking to a restroom with a normal gait, without using the wheelchair or any other device.
An investigation followed. Undercover video was obtained of Harder showing him wearing a wet suit and engaging in mining activities.
Harder turned himself in. He faces one felony count of knowingly making a false or fraudulent material statement or material misrepresentation for the purpose of obtaining compensation. If convicted, he could receive up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.