It's possible that Los Angeles city workers file a high number of worker's compensation claims for fake injuries. But the truth is we don't know: The city only takes a closer look at about four percent of claims; in other cities it's more like one in five claims.
So that guy with the funny limp, he's probably going to take time off and get your tax money. In fact, according to an audit of the City Attorney's Worker's Compensation Program released Wednesday, “poor oversight” of the claims could be costing you millions of dollars each year.
But don't blame City Attorney Carmen Trutanich for this one. He cooperated with City Controller Wendy Greuel's audit, unlike the last guy — Rocky Delgadillo — who sued to prevent such an inquiry.
Greuel's look-see covers Delgadillo's time in office.
She found that the city was only collecting on six percent of claims that should have been covered by outside insurance. Say what? That cost taxpayers $3 million a year right there.
And comp cases looked at by the City Attorney's office stayed open an average of nearly six years. That's 500 percent more than they should have, according to Greuel.
Trutanich said Wednesday that fixes were already in place:
” … We are restructuring the Office organization and the Workers' Compensation Division to increase accountability and efficiency. We have assigned more attorneys to the Division as part of our newly-implemented attorney rotation protocol in order to reduce the backlog of cases, which generates significant cost savings.”