‘Yellowstone’ Actress Charged With Workers’ Compensation Fraud
Actress on the popular hit show Yellowstone, Q’Orianka Kilcher, has been arrested and charged with breaking the law by illegally collecting over $90,000 in workers’ compensation benefits. Kilcher allegedly made materially false statements to her doctor, claiming that she had been unable to work for a year due to an injury to her neck and shoulder. However, it was later determined that Kilcher had been working on the show Yellowstone for several months during the period in which she claimed to be too injured to work. When her doctor was informed that Kilcher had been working just 5 days before she filed her claim alleging that she had not worked in a year, her doctor replied that he would not have made the determination that she was eligible for workers’ compensation benefits had she not stated that she was unable to work for a year due to the injury. She was subsequently arrested and charged with workers’ compensation fraud. She has been arraigned at this point, but the hearing has not taken place. Workers’ compensation fraud is a growing issue and costs California businesses a shocking $161,947,968 a year.
What is Workers’ Compensation Fraud?
Workers’ compensation involves intentionally making a false statement or concealing material information for the purpose of wrongfully receiving workers’ compensation benefits. In the above case, the statement that Kilcher made about not having been able to work for a year due to her injury was material because the doctor would not have made the decision he did–to mark her as eligible for workers’ compensation benefits–without the statement. She may have made other statements that the doctor did not consider in determining that she was eligible for the workers’ compensation benefits. Even if these statements were false and she intentionally lied about them, they would not be material statements because they did not ultimately affect the doctor’s determination. Workers’ compensation fraud is a crime, punishable with steep fines, restitution to the state, and even jail time. Most individuals facing workers’ compensation charges will attempt to defend themselves by claiming that the false statements they made were not intentional. Depending on the circumstances, this may be an effective defense, as the prosecution must be able to show that the defendant willfully and intentionally made the false statements.
Has Your Valid Claim Been Denied?
It’s not always easy to get workers’ compensation benefits, even when all the facts that you provided are true and accurate. While being eligible for workers’ compensation insurance does prevent you from bringing a lawsuit against your employer, you can still have an attorney help you with your workers’ compensation claim. It is common for valid claims to be denied for simple errors or because they lack sufficient information. In some cases, the workers’ compensation insurance company may simply refuse to give you a fair offer for your injury. In these cases, having a lawyer to advocate for you and help you to navigate the process can make all of the difference.
Call Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby, LLP Today
If you suffered a workplace injury, the experienced Maryland workers’ compensation attorneys at Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby, LLP are ready to fight to get you the compensation and support that you are entitled to. Contact us today and schedule a consultation.