It was a typical workers compensation investigation where the target, a factory worker, had been a back injury from a work related incident. The doctor’s report stated he could not lift over 20lbs. My client, the insurance company, wanted to see if the target might be faking the injury or working other jobs while away from work.
I gathered the typical information; home address, internet research on target, and I scoped out his neighborhood to identify potential driving routes and surveillance locations. Then I set up a surveillance schedule and went to work.
After several days of surveilling the target I did not have any evidence that he had miraculously recovered from his injury or he was working another job. My surveillance log showed that the target was adhering to the doctor’s orders. From my research I found the target helped the high school football team where his son attended with moving equipment. I surveilled him at the games and saw that he was seated in the stands. In fact, my surveillance log showed the target appeared to be in distress at various times and no indications he was performing for an audience. My client was not happy with my results and wanted more information.
Under the guise of investigating safety practices where the target worked, the insurance company set up meetings for me with supervisors and employees to review safety practices. It was clear that the target, a long term employee was a hard worker. While I was conducting interviews I had the opportunity to observe some workers with clipboards. They appeared to be counting boxes, conducting inventories of the packages being unloaded from the trucks.
After my meetings with factory workers it was evident to me that the target was a hard worker. Several of the employees and supervisors really missed having him working in the warehouse.
I met with the client to review the results of my investigation. I shared with them my observations of the workers conducting inventories and suggested they work with the employer to reassign the target into a position that would meet the doctors requirements. Many companies have a return to work policy where they try to place an injured worker in a position that allows them to continue working in a position that meets their physical restrictions.
A few weeks later I got a call from the insurance company. They let me know they were successful in placing the employee in one of the positions. Both the target and warehouse staff were happy he was back. And, the insurance company had another investigation for me!