Some drug addicts will go to great lengths to get their fix. Sadly, Trace Strickland is a textbook case of how far drug abusers will go to get narcotics.
Strickland, a 41-year-old Puyallup resident, visited emergency rooms in Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Pierce, and Grays Harbor counties. In order obtain prescription narcotics, on each visit he claimed an on-the-job injury.
Any time we see multiple visits to the ER, it raises a red flag. The claims manager started an investigation into what she suspected was a multiple-filer case linked to drug abuse.
Sure enough, our investigation revealed that Strickland filed numerous claims for injuries to the same body parts – including, two rib cage, six left wrist, 13 right little toe, two right foot, and two tailbone – all within a span of 18 months. In some instances, he may have been self-injuring to obtain the drugs he wanted.
We often give people the opportunity to do the right thing. One of our fraud adjudicators called Strickland, warning him to stop filing bogus claims.
After being put on notice that he faced criminal charges, Strickland went on to file another 19 claims, for a grand total of 46.
Eventually, Strickland was charged with multiple counts of fraud and theft. He pled guilty to five counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of first-degree theft. He was sentenced by the court to a Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative, with six months in-patient treatment and 24 months community custody.
There are no winners here. Multiple-filer cases are often sad stories of addiction and desperation. I hope Trace Strickland, and others like him, get the help they need.
Be the first person to comment!
You must Login or Register in order to read and make comments!
Disclaimer: WorkersCompensation.com publishes independently generated writings from a variety of workers' compensation industry stakeholders. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of WorkersCompensation.com.