Snow Blowers Still Causing Injury Despite Recall

Foot soft splint for treatment of injuries from tendon inflammat

It’s January in Pennsylvania—it would be pretty unusual not to have snow on the ground. Shoveling’s pretty hard work, so why not fire up the snow blower? Before you do, though, take a good look at the brand. If it’s an MTD Snow Thrower and you’ve had it for a while, there’s a good chance that it could be extremely dangerous to operate. The MTD Snow Thrower was subject to voluntary recall some 10 years ago, but company officials acknowledge that a significant number of the machines have not been returned and still pose a serious risk of injury.

According to court documents filed against MTD, the manufacturer, more than 130,000 snow blowers manufactured by the company had tire rims that were extremely dangerous. The rims were made of a plastic material, and when users overinflated the tires on the snow blower, the air pressure had a tendency to cause the rims to explode, sending plastic shrapnel flying through the air. Sources say that hundreds of owners have reported a wide range of injuries, from cuts and bruises to broken bones, including fingers and toes. Company officials say the snow blowers were sold through Sears, Home Depot and other hardware outlets. The Sears product carried the Craftsman logo.

Contact the Law Office of Shaffer & Gaier, L.L.C.

If you or someone you love has been hurt because a consumer product was negligently designed or poorly manufactured, you have a right to pursue compensation from anyone in the chain of distribution. Let us help.

At Shaffer & Gaier, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. To set up an appointment, contact us online or call our office in Philadelphia at 215-751-0100, or in New Jersey at 856-429-0970. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home, if necessary, to meet with you.

Faking Workplace Injuries – Why it’s a Bad Idea

Workplace Injury Attorneys in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

When the physical or mental demands of a job become more than we can bear, it’s not uncommon to daydream about winning the lottery or finding a “dream” job” that will magically make our lives better. Unfortunately, frustration with work or unhappiness in one’s personal life leads some people to fake a workplace accident in the hopes of getting rich quick and quitting work. Some may think it’s unlikely they’ll get caught or, if they do, it’s a minor offense. In reality, faking a workplace injury constitutes insurance fraud.

Faked Job Injuries and Insurance Fraud

Recently, Attorney General John J. Hoffman of the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor announced the indictment of a 31-year old Perth Amboy man on charges of insurance fraud. According to the indictment, the Middlesex County man faked an accident at his workplace in order to receive over $500,000 in medical benefits to cover injuries he sustained prior to his employment.

Vinny Curbelo, the man under indictment, also received more than $55,000 in temporary disability benefits over the course of a two-year period following his faked accident. Mr. Curbelo worked at an auto body shop and is alleged to have stolen roughly $17,000 from the bank accounts of the body shop as well. The defendant faked his accident by pretending he fell at work, filing claims for his injuries under his employer’s worker’s compensation insurance.

Worker’s Comp Fraud – A Criminal Matter

Mr. Curbelo is charged with second-degree healthcare fraud, second-degree theft by deception, second-degree attempted theft by deception, second-degree insurance fraud, second-degree computer criminal activity, and third-degree theft by unlawful taking. What is important to remember here is that faking a workplace accident can lead to multiple charges and, depending on whether a computer was used, funds wire or transferred, or Social Security benefits received, potential federal charges as well.

Insurers have a Number of Investigative Resources

Getting away with insurance fraud after a faked workplace accident isn’t as easy as it may seem at first. Insurers use investigative resources that check up on employees that allege they’ve been injured. They check an employee’s use of social media for any evidence their injuries are not as serious as they claim, observe employees in public places to determine if they’re faking an injury, and may periodically request a medical exam to verify an injury claim.

Contact Philadelphia Workplace Injury Attorneys Shaffer & Gaier

If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident or have questions about whether or not you have legitimate grounds to file a worker’s compensation claim, contact workplace injury attorneys Shaffer & Gaier today. We offer a free initial consultation. To set up an appointment, call our Philadelphia office at 215-751-0100 or our Haddonfield, New Jersey office at 856-429-0970.

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