Workers' Comp News
State Fund reformer was paid a salary of $450,000 a year, plus perks
In September of 2009, she was assured that someone in the governor’s staff would "work hard" to help the injured firefighter with his endeavors.
The senator cannot call for an investigation into why the governor’s staff did not follow through on their assurance about helping the firefighter, if no one is willing to contact her office.
The governors office has also not responded to a request made by Congressman Adam Schiff, the request was in regards to a another problem with SCIF's claims handling.
Does Governor Schwarzenegger know about this Firefighter's situation?
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
As a public service to the firefighter, his family, and the public that is served by your firefighters, I am doing what I can to provide a forum for his story. It is imperative for you to share his story with your elected officials, friends and co-workers. These stories are shining examples of what is to come if the public stands by idly and does nothing.
Click here to listen to who wanted this website blocked.
In My Opinion
I read another great article in Workers’ Comp Executive. Titled: SCIF to Attempt Rebranding Its Tarnished Image
SCIF management hopes to give its employees a boost in morale with new language and a new way of looking at SCIF's role in California's economy.
Apparently SCIF employees’ morale is down. If this is indeed true, what could be the cause? According to the article, SCIF employees have been subjected to a barrage of negative media about the organization due in large part to the malfeasance of some top SCIF management, which were removed last year.
As a public service I wanted to find out what other things could be causing such a drop in morale. My research turned up some interesting information. I found an article in the L.A Times, Millions wasted by State Fund, by Marc Lifsher.
According to the article, a state audit uncovered some very startling facts. SCIF spent some $300 million on technology and had to pay out some $20 million in penalties for delays in processing of medical bills and disability benefits for injured workers.
So why didn't SCIF get these payments made on time? With all the technology they bought there should be no reason, or is there? These late payments to injured workers and treating doctors were going on in the early 90's. My family was forced into poverty by the way SCIF is allowed to operate.
The culture of corruption can not be cleaned up with new words or slogans. It can only be cleaned up by positive action of management. Honest management, not business as usual management.
"Commenting on a matter of public concern is a classic form of speech that lies at the heart of the first Amendment."
Rescued dog receives better care then injured firefighter with a broken back
It was heartwarming to watch the dog stuck in the flood channel being rescued by L.A. County Swift Water Rescue and Paramedics during the severe storms in Los Angeles this past week. The dog has been given the name Vernon by his rescuers and there are nightly updates on his condition. However, there is a firefighter in California that was severely injured while trying to save a burning house in 2008. He has been repeatedly denied back surgery by State Compensation Insurance Fund, the insurance carrier for CalFire. This brave firefighter needs FDA approved disc replacement surgery as his lower back sustained a life changing and crippling injury when the floor he was standing on collapsed. Yet he is denied vital surgery and spends his days in excruciating pain. The prescribed medications for pain do not work effectively and will definitely not heal his back. The pain becomes increasing painful the longer he sits. Just try to imagine what it would be like to be in such pain, that if you needed to go somewhere more than just a local trip, that you would have to lay on a foam pad with the seat reclined back as far as it will go, while your wife or a friend had to drive…This is what an injured firefighter has to deal with as a direct result of California’s REFORMED workers compensation system.
Californians are being denied the expertise and the lifesaving skills of this Firefighter, as a direct result of his request being denied for disc replacement. The use of artificial discs has been approved by the FDA for a number of years. Yet according to some of the denial letters he has shared with me, it looks like SCIF is denying the request for surgery because it does not comply with the ACOEM guidelines. These guidelines are the direct result of SB899 California’s workers compensation reform bill, which became law in 2004 and is the legacy of governor Schwarzenegger.
This bill was pushed through the state legislature at 3AM. No news media was watching and there were no studies conducted on the possible impact to the tens of thousands of people that suffer a work injury each year. To make matters worse, only a few members of the legislature were able to read the full bill.
Shortly after this bill was passed insurance carriers began to make record profits while the injured had benefits slashed 70% in some cases and, medical care reduced. It has become so bad that several injured workers have committed suicide because they could not endure the physical pain and the pain of watching their families suffer. Such is the story of David Michael Tracey and his wife Jamie.
The documentary Almost Broken was created to show the public how injured and disabled workers are being abused for profit. The news media has been mislead to believe that all the workers comp fraud is being committed by injured workers trying to scam the system.
The documentary Almost Broken exposes the truth about who is really benefiting from insurance fraud. The public will get an inside looks at how California’s workers compensation system handles an injury claim.
In this documentary you will see what Governor Schwarzenegger accomplished by pushing to reform the workers’ compensation system in California. You will see news footage of him wearing a jacket which states, TERMINATE FRAUD, while his own state agency (SCIF) continues to benefit from committing fraud. SCIF’s own documents provide the evidence of its total violation of the rule of law. You can see this evidence at the documents page on this site.
I find it ironic that Governor Schwarzenegger was serving food to firefighters during the Southern California fires in the fall of 2009. He was praising the firefighters for their heroics while at the same time a firefighter was pleading with the governor’s office to have Governor Schwarzenegger step in on his behalf and help him get the surgery he needs.
At the same time this firefighter turned to the internet to get information and help when he found this website. He read through my documents and watched the documentary Almost Broken and quickly realized he was going to have an uphill battle to get SCIF to approve his back surgery. He contacted me with his heartbreaking story and emailed me the letter he sent to numerous state and federal representatives. Only one responded, Senator Feinstein. As you can see in the letter, she was assured that someone in the governor’s staff “would work hard to help in your endeavors.” That was in September of 2009.
As I repeatedly spoke with the injured firefighter, his voice filled with frustration that his own department would terminate him as he was not fit to resume his job. Now a firefighter has lost his job he loved so much, because a state agency had denied his back surgery. As I received more and more documents from him it was clear that I had to do all that I could do to help him get his story out to the public.
He recently received a letter from the governor’s office informing him the California Department of Industrial Relations would be contacting the now former firefighter within 45 days, passing him back to the system that has continued to deny him the much needed surgery.
I was totally shocked that Governor Schwarzenegger did not intercede on the firefighter’s behalf as soon as Senator Feinstein took her valuable time to contact the his office, to insure the firefighter would get quick help.
What the governor’s office is doing, by not taking quick action to help someone that is having problems with SCIF, reminds me of Congressman Adam Schiff s written request of the governor to contact me. This was regarding what SCIF was being allowed to do on my injury claim. The congressman even sent copies of my evidence to the governor’s office, yet I have not been contacted by the governor’s office. This was in 2003!
I consider this injured firefighter a real hero, for standing up and doing whatever it takes to save lives and peoples’ property. Instead of just sucking up the crippling pain he found my website and asked if I would be willing to help him tell his story, hoping that enough people would help spread his story to others, the media and to public officials as far away as Washington DC. …
Editor note: Years ago SCIF shut off all my benefits 5 days after they saw how much my injury could cost them over the life of the claim. This unbelievable and heartless action denied me medical care that SCIF was paying for until they cut off all benefits and forced my wife and our 3 children into government inflicted poverty. We lost everything my wife and I had work for years to obtain. SCIF’s heartless act failed because I did not give in and go away. As a result of this I have withheld the firefighter’s name, out of concern that SCIF might shut off his disability payments if they knew who he was. He has already been forced to move his family in with his in-laws as a result of not getting quick and proper medical care so he could resume a job he loved..
Welcome to My State Fund Story
My name is Larry Nign. I was born and raised in Southern California.
I have been referred to as the ‘star’ of Almost Broken (a documentary about my fight for justice) and an activist for injured workers and their families as well as an advocate for integrity and accountability in California’s government mandated insurance industry.
There are some in government that consider me the lone fraud fighter. I am trying to learn who in state government could be benefiting from allowing State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF), a California state agency, to get away with unlawful injury claims handling. This includes fraud on the court, civil rights violations followed by getting away with lying to state Senator Richard Alarcon to cover up their previous unlawful claims handling for monetary gain. To make matters worse, the use of the United States Mail to further their criminal active.
Our rights afforded us by the Constitution must always be protected and no government agency should ever be allowed to benefit from abusing any of those rights. No family should ever be forced into poverty and lose everything that they worked years to acquire, because a state agency is allowed to use fraudulent documents to obstruct justice. State Compensation Insurance Fund, by their own actions and documents has clearly demonstrated an attitude in my case which shows no respect for the rule of law, nor do they seem to fear any reprisals from the Governor, the California state legislature, or any state government agency. Why is that do you think?
Why do you suppose the California legislature is not willing to hold hearings and question SCIF‘s board of directors and top managers? SCIF needs to explain why they think they should not have to pay on injury claims or be fined for violating civil rights, and why more importantly, is it considered proper claims handling to keep an injured claimant in pain for months, sometimes years, before a decision is made on their case. When Senator Bob Huff said he was “outnumbered in Sacramento” he led me to believe the legislature does not care how SCIF operates. Why should SCIF pay on injury claims if they are not forced to? Why pay if there is no accountability?
There might be some people that will question my creditability and integrity. California State Senator Bob Huff has absolutely no problem with my background and even commended me for my effort. SCIF cannot get away with committing fraud and lying to a state senator to cover up their unlawful acts. I am trying to insure that working Californians and their families no longer have to face the possibility of having the rights afforded them by the constitution violated because someone happens to suffer a serious work injury.
The following is some history on State Fund:
State Fund was created by the Boynton Act of 1913, and it started operations in 1914. Around that same time, the voters amended the California Constitution by initiative to guarantee the constitutionality of the state workers' compensation system. State Fund's constitutional basis is found at Article 14, Section 4 of the state constitution: The legislature is hereby expressly vested with plenary powers, unlimited by any provision of this Constitution, to create, and enforce a complete system of workers' compensation...including the establishment and management of a state compensation insurance fund...
SCIF employs some 7,000 state workers and insures some 150,000 businesses in California, and takes in billions a year in insurance premiums. I would like say that I have never met a SCIF employee at some of our protests and meeting that I did not like. I believe the vast majority of employees are following orders just like any other employee would do.
The experience that I have gained has come as a result of becoming disabled many years ago and learning first hand that no one cares in California politics how one is treated as a seriously injured or disabled person. The documentation is so strong that some years ago I started to perform a public service and created www.mystatefundstory.com website. My website has become very effective in proving that state officials really do not care about what happens to the injured and disabled and their families. California State Senator Bob Huff did take the time to write and inform me he had been to my website and complimented me on my commitment.
It has become very clear that politicians care far more about insuring they stay in public office and will do what is necessarily to accomplish that goal first. California state officials do not care about the injured and disabled, I believe, because we cannot work and pay taxes.
These stories are shining examples of what is to come with no accountability in government owned insurance if the public does not get involved and share this website with others across our nation.
Historically, selective enforcement is recognized as a sign of tyranny, and an abuse of power, because it violates rule of law, allowing men to apply justice only when they choose. Aside from this being inherently unjust, it almost inevitably must lead to favoritism and extortion, with those empowered to choose being able to help their friends, take bribes, and threaten those they desire favors from.
Share this website with family, friends and co-workers. Contact your government representatives and let them know government insurance programs should not be allowed to benefit from unlawful activities to save money on injury claims.
A fire fighter's story of pain and suffering, in his own words.
Why is an injured firefighter forced to live in excruciating pain?
State Compensation Insurance Fund, a government insurance carrier, continues to deny repeated requests for an FDA approved Pro Disk (Artificial Disk) replacement for this injured firefighter. The Doctor's request to perform an FDA approved spinal surgery was denied because it is NOT ALLOWED by the ACOEM guidelines.
In 2004 the California legislature passed SB899 and the Governor signed it into law. SB899 now re-defines "Cure and relieve" to only be treated in accordance with ACOEM guidelines.
Why did the state legislature stop allowing the Treating Doctor to have the final say on how the injured worker should be treated? After all the TREATING DOCTOR would have the best idea on what level of care an injured worker will be needed to give him the very best chance to heal and return to the job.
I complied with the senators’ request and wrote to the insurance commissioner as a public service. To date I have not received any reply from the commissioner, because I believe the commissioner is being kept in the dark so he will have no knowledge that SCIF, a state agency is allowed to save money on my injury claim, by violating state and federal laws.
As seen on America’s Most Wanted, convicted rapist and alleged serial killer of possibly 30 people, John Floyd Thomas Jr., a 20 year employee of State Compensation Insurance Fund as a claims adjuster. Could he have worked on your case?