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Employer caught denying workers’ comp benefits after employee loses limb

News: 2015 Press Release

For Release: March 19, 2015
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Employer caught denying workers’ comp benefits after employee loses limb

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Harry Minassian, 55, of Granada Hills and owner of Pacific Construction was arrested on four felony counts of workers' compensation insurance fraud after refusing to report an employee's serious injury to the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

A Pacific Construction employee received a puncture wound to his foot while on a jobsite, which became infected. Unfortunately, the seriousness of the infection led to the employee's leg being amputated below the knee. The employee reported the injury to his employer but Minassian refused to report it to the State Compensation Insurance Fund, his workers' compensation carrier and denied workers' compensation coverage forhis employee.

"Employers are responsible for ensuring their employees receive the benefits and treatment they are entitled to when they are injured on the job," said Commissioner Dave Jones. "In this case, the employer was negligent and allowed his employee to suffer unnecessarily and end up with a permanent disability."

The employee was awarded permanent disability after he filed a claim with the insurer. The department's investigation began after the State Compensation Insurance Fund reported Minassian and that he had a history of failing to report employee injuries. The investigation revealed Minassian owed nearly $12,000 in workers' compensation insurance premiums and failed to deduct required payroll taxes and social security for all of his employees.

Minassian was booked at the LosAngeles County Jail Twin Towers Inmate Reception Center. His bail has been set at $120,000. If convicted on all counts, Minassian faces a maximum of five years in county jail. This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.


Media Notes:

Harry Minassian arrest photo is also available on the department's Flickr site:

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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