The Sixth Circuit's recent decision in Brown v. Cassens Transport, No. 10-2334 (April 6, 2012), recognized both that a claim for workers compensation benefits as well as the expectation of a fair process for a workers compensation claim were "property" under RICO. This is the second time that the Sixth Circuit has reversed a district court's dismissal of the case. It has been the subject of to prior post on the Kentucky Employment Law Blog: A Claim for Workers Compensation Benefits Is Property Under RICO, Sixth Circuit Rules and Injured Workers May Sue Under Racketeering Law Based On Scheme To Deny Them Workers Compensation Benefits.
The court also explained the determination of damages that could be recovered under RICO for the fraudulent deprivation of workers compensation benefits:
... a person is injured and "property" under RICO when the value of the statutory benefits that she receives is artificially decreased by reason of the fraud complained of. "The compensable injury necessarily is the harm caused by predicate acts sufficiently related to constitute a pattern." Calculating such differences is rarely an exact science, but the plaintiffs should be able to put on proof of how much compensation they would have received under the [Michigan workers compensation law's] rigid schedule of compensation but for the defendants' allegedly fraudulent medical testimony. The difference between that amount and the amount they received in settlement is neither speculative nor too difficult to surmise.
Robert L. Abell