Mario Seguro-Suarez fell 18 feet head first onto concrete floor, Key Risk Insurance Co. fought workers comp claims, Suarez accused of fraud jailed


From Insurance News Net October 23, 2018.

“Company couldn’t cut disabled worker’s benefits, so it ‘went rogue,’ lawyer says

Oct. 23–In 2003, after Mario Seguro-Suarez fell 18 feet head-first onto the concrete floor of his Lincolnton workplace, his employer and its insurance carrier acknowledged that his disabling brain injury qualified him for workers’ compensation benefits.

Court documents reveal the lengths that Key Risk Insurance Co. went not to pay them.

The Greensboro-based company disregarded years of medical opinions — including several from its own doctors — that Seguro-Suarez was indeed left disabled from his fall at the Southern Fiber factory, documents show.

Over the past 15 years, Key Risk has made multiple trips to courts and before the N.C. Industrial Commission to argue that Seguro-Suarez has been faking his symptoms and that his benefits should be cut off.

When the company lost those fights, it kept appealing — and losing.

When all else failed, says veteran Charlotte attorney Woody Connette, Key Risk “went rogue.”

First, it had the idled worker followed and videotaped for weeks, court documents say. A private investigator then took what a detective would describe as misleading information to Lincolnton police to accuse Seguro-Suarez of insurance fraud. He was arrested, jailed and later indicted.

The charges were thrown out in 2014, drawing a withering rebuke from the Lincoln County judge who heard them.

Now, Seguro-Suarez and his attorneys are suing Key Risk and others for malicious prosecution. In September, the N.C. Court of Appeals — the state’s second highest judicial body — refused the company’s motion to have the 2016 lawsuit thrown out.

Charlotte attorney Woody Connette, who is serving as legal guardian for Seguro-Suarez in his Key Risk lawsuit because the worker has been found incapable of representing himself, says the company’s actions are unlike any he’s encountered in his 40-year legal career.

“I have seen some outrageous abuses of the system by insurance companies, but this is the most outrageous,” Connette told the Observer.”

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