Taco Bell: Yo Quiero Workers' Comp Reversal

May 14, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Private detective work attempting to prove the contrary was not enough for Taco Bell to convince a Louisiana Court of Appeals that an assistant manager made fraudulent representations of an injury.

>The ruling came despite the fast-food chain’s videotapes of the assistant store manager with a purported back injury bending, squatting, stretching, jogging, and performing heavy yard work.   Instead, the Court of Appeals concurred with the lower court, setting the end date of the employee’s injury at the date of the first incriminating videotape, according to a CCH report.

>Further, the court concluded that the employee’s claim about the videotapes – that she did not feel any pain while performing these actions – was reasonable and not fraudulent.

>Additionally, the appellate court upheld the trial court’s rulings that:

  • the manager was entitled to payment of all medical expenses
  • the employer was arbitrary and capricious in its refusal to pay them
  • the employer should pay a penalty for refusing to pay certain weekly indemnity disability benefits
  • the employer should pay attorneys fees.

The case is Gerryleigh K. Galeano v. Taco BellCorporation .