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The Use of Video Surveillance in Workers' Compensation Cases

Employers and workers' compensation insurance companies sometimes employ private investigators to obtain video surveillance of an injured employee. The purpose of video surveillance is often to:

· assess whether the physical restrictions assigned to the employee are valid,

· undermine the employee's credibility with their physicians and the judge,

· expose undisclosed employment, and/or

· obtain undisputable video evidence of the worker's physical abilities.

The Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court has held that employers must disclose video surveillance to the employee/employee's attorney, but typically allows the employer to refrain from disclosing surveillance until after the employee's deposition. In at least one case, however, the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court ordered disclosure of the "date and place of any photograph or video [in the employer/carrier's possession] and the name and address of the person taking the photograph or video" prior to the employee's deposition. See Murrell v. Magnolia Triplehil, LLC, et. al., Doc. 205 No.1570 (May 16, 2006, Order).

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