LaborNet - Internet Board
Global online communication since 1991 for a democratic, independent labor movement
Home | Current Blog | News Archive | Video | Resources | Back Links | About LaborNet

image image

Stop The Frame-Up and Jailing Of CA Injured Worker Reginald Fagan
Source labornet@labornet.org
Date 07/08/18/14:47

Injured Worker: Victim of Workers Comp System Faces Jail Time

By Rae Jones

(Los Angeles, CA)

Reginald Anthony Fagan is an intelligent and outspoken man. And, this
tendency to speak up apparently is what got him into trouble. At least,
that's the only conclusion that can be drawn since he has done nothing
wrong, except fight back.
His story is almost unbelievable, but here is the quick and easy version. A
Watts native and most recent resident of San Luis Obispo, CA, Fagan was
hurt on the job, filed for workers compensation, was denied workers
compensation, then fired from his job, after which he lost his home. More
than four years after he originally filed for and was denied workers
compensation he was charged with workers compensation fraud, dragged through
the court system and found guilty. Of course, during the more than four
years between the times he filed for workers comp and was denied it, Fagan
did other things. After he lost his workers comp claim to the Lucia Mar
Unified School District where he served as a groundskeeper and a member of
CSEA Chapter 275. His injury took place in December 1999 and when he lost
the workers comp claim he appealed it. In January 2000 his supervisor
threatened him saying, "I'm going to destroy you?" He filed an a written
complaint with the school district superintendent. When the District
terminated him in February 2000, without the option to continue his medical
benefits although he already had been diagnosed with conditions that
required surgery, he fought it. And, when he lost his home, he applied for
Section 8 Housing assistance and received it, only to end up renting a
property that illegally contained asbestos. When Fagan complained and the
owner refused to do anything about the asbestos, he called in the U.S.
Department of Housing & Urban Development's regional office (Fair Housing
and Equal Opportunity) and the Air Pollution Control District of the County
of San Luis Obispo. These agencies pursued Fagan's claim until in the
midst of it, the San Luis Obispo District Attorney charged him with workers
comp fraud, after which the agencies dropped their investigations.
Following the charges, Fagan went back to school where for two years he was
a straight "A" student. It was at the school, in front of his classmates and
peers, that he was handcuffed, arrested and taken to jail.
Currently 49 years old, Fagan was diagnosed with epilepsy and other
developmental disorders at an early age. As a result of his work-related
injuries he also has been diagnosed with a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament
(ACL), severe arthritis, a tumor, nerve impingement, carpel tunnel,
muscular dystrophy and an assortment of other physical disorders, all
substantiated by medical doctors.
The apartment Fagan had was entered, illegally. Mail at his post office box
was opened without his permission. The San Luis Obispo District Attorney
has had unrestricted access to his medical records without consent. To add
to Fagan's troubles, the San Luis Obispo District Attorney's office hired a
private investigator to the tune of $28,000 who has followed Fagan around
illegally and video taped him in an attempt to mitigate his medical claims.
In the interim, Fagan has not received a dime. As a result, some nights
Reginald Fagan sleeps in his car.
Unfortunately, he is not the only one facing this nightmare and trauma.
Although statistics are not available, it has become clear that thousands of
injured workers who have been denied workers compensation, end up homeless,
according to Steve Zeltzer, chair of the California Coalition for Workers
Memorial Day CCWMD www.workersmemorialday.com. "A high percentage of
workers can't get compensation and are subject to retaliatory prosecution
by the district attorney's offices who primarily work on behalf of the
employers and the insurance companies" he added. "In Reginald's case it's
a complete frame-up. They don't like people who fight for justice and
speak out? They are also cost shifting the cost of workers injuries to SSI,
Disability Insurance and public hospitals. This is a billion dollars cost
shifting scam fruad by the insurance companies
and self insured employers" said Zeltzer
Most recently involved with this retaliatory prosecution is the case of
injured worker Anita Blick, who was charged with fraudulently claiming
workers compensation benefits after sustaining an injury as a police
dispatcher in the City of Atherton/San Mateo County. The California
Coalition for Workers Memorial Day was ecstatic when her conviction for
workers comp fraud was overturned in the California Appeals Court. The court
declared that the trial judge had not informed the jury that in order to be
convicted of workers compensation frand you need to have intent to commit
fraud. "Not telling your doctor that you are not driving as the San Mateo DA
Katherine Alberti charged is not "intention to defraud." said Zeltzer. By
the time of the court decision which revoked the conviction however, Anita
Blick had already been jailed for 90 days in solitary confinement and was
thousands of dollars in debt with the danger that she might lose her house
and become unemployed and homeless. But while imprisoned, Blick a 54 year
old grandmother who had never even received a parking ticket before being
incarcerated for workers comp fraud, contemplated suicide as her family and
home life fell apart.
"The systemic terrorism against injured workers continues unabated"
Zeltzer asserts. "In fact, newly elected Insurance Commissioner Steve
Poizer has continued to cover up the direct conflict of interest by his
Insurance Fraud Commission, which does oversight on the insurance industry
and dispenses $22 million a year to district attorneys to pursue fraud
cases by California District Attorneys. He has appointed William Zachary who
is chair of the California Fraud Accessment Commission and vice president
for Risk Management for Safeway Inc. to a "blue ribbon" committee to
"investigate" the insurance industry." In the meantime, Anita Blick faces
an uphill battle to keep her home and pay her medical bills.
As for Fagan, he faces two or more years in jail for a false charge leveled
by an overzealous District Attorney's office and lack of representation by
a competent public defender.
"The District Attorney's unwarranted assault on me has impacted my health
and medical treatment, my disability benefits, my education and training
opportunities, my quality of life and my future" Fagan declared.
"Essentially the District Attorney's office seems to be engaged in
'Prosecution for Profit' and retaliation because I have been targeted as a
whistle blower."
Fagan also contends that passage of Workers Compensation "Roadmap to
Reform" legislation, AB 227 and SB228, in 2003 provided further financial
incentives for the District Attorney's Office to launch prosecution
campaigns of even those most remotely capable of fraud. "Even though my case
was closed and beyond the statute of limitation, the District Attorney
arrested me four years later and falsely charged me with a felony" Fagan
charged. Fagan also never received a penny from Workers Compensation but was
prosecuted by the DA in a retaliatory prosecution.
Not taking his current circumstance lightly, Fagan continues to fight and
intends to appeal the current conviction and seek housing. But, he needs
help.

To offer support or for additional information Reginald Fagan can be
reached at fishfagan7@yahoo.com or 310.748.4987.

Also a Reginald Fagan Defense Fund has been set up by the California
Coalition For Workers Memorial Day.
You can contribute to this fund by sending a check to

CCWMD/Fagan Defense
P.O. Box 720027
San Francisco, CA 94172

EDITOR'S NOTE: Reginald Fagan is available for interviews. Please feel
free to contact him directly.

RAE JONES
RAEDIANT Communications
323.294.5280 or 323.294.5258 (fax)

Let These Officials Know Where You Stand On This Case

State of California Department of Insurance
C/o Mr. Steve Poizner, Insurance Commissioner
300 S. Spring Street South Tower
Los Angeles, CA. 90013

San Luis Obispo Courts - Grand Jury
P.O. Box 4910
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403
Superior Court of California
County of San Luis Obispo
1035 Palm Street Rm. 385
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406
San Luis Obispo Courts
Presiding Judge: P. Pickuel
Tel: (805) 781-5473
(805) 781-5936

Attorney General Edmond Jerry Brown
Office California Department of Justice
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
Tel: (916) 322-3360

Attorney General Edmond Jerry Brown
Office California Department of Justice
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
Tel: (916) 322-3360

Judge MARTIN J TANGEMAN OFFICE #9
1035 Palm St Rm 385
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
(805) 781-5936
________________________________


[View the list]