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Strong Law Firm, PC



(BREWTON, ALABAMA) – On February 28, 2001 Roger Burkett, a Brewton truck driver, was convicted of perjury and making a false statement to receive workers’ compensation benefits. He faces a penalty of one to ten years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.00 for each of the class C felonies when he is sentenced on May 16.

The conviction is the culmination of the aggressive efforts of Argonaut’s adjuster Shelly Hayes and Birmingham, Alabama lawyer Ted Strong of Strong, Klasing & Williamson, PC to prevent obvious abuses of the workers’ compensation laws by Mr. Burkett. Ms. Hayes recognized very early that Mr. Burkett’s actions were inconsistent with the medical information provided by his doctors. With the authority of Argonaut Ms. Hayes began surveillance and immediately enlisted Mr. Strong’s assistance. In an assertive move to bring the issue to the forefront, Mr. Strong filed a civil lawsuit against Mr. Burkett in Montgomery County, Alabama. Burkett responded by suing his employer, Woerner Transportation, claiming that he was permanently and totally disabled from working in any capacity as a result of his work injury. If victorious in his claim, Burkett would have collected over $600,000.00 in lifetime compensation benefits.

An exhaustive investigation revealed another instance of workers’ compensation abuse, as well as many other workers’ compensation claims that were inconsistent with Burkett’s deposition testimony. After presenting hours of video tape covering a period of 15 months, and Mr. Strong’s thorough cross examination in which Burkett and his injury claims were discredited, the civil lawsuit resulted in a verdict for Woerner Transportation and against Burkett. Judge Eugene Reese stated Burkett’s testimony was not credible, and there was no credible evidence connecting Burkett’s injury to any demonstrated loss or lack of earning capacity.

In keeping with its commitment to Woerner Transportation, Argonaut presented the civil trial evidence to prosecutors for use in the criminal prosecution of Burkett. Following the criminal trial before Escambia County Circuit Judge Bradley Byrne, Burkett was found guilty of perjury and making a false statement to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Burkett had been employed as a truck driver with Woerner Transportation in Baldwin County, Alabama. He was involved in a motor vehicle accident while working for Woerner on October 10, 1997. Burkett claimed he injured his neck, low back, neck, hips, and knees. Burkett told his doctors and testified in the civil matter that he was in excruciating pain, unable to walk any distance without a cane, unable to walk up and down stairs without a cane or handrail, kneel, bend at the waist, and stand or sit for any length of time. Video evidence showed Burkett engaged in strenuous activities such roofing a house, repairing a boat, kneeling, bending at the waist, and walking, including up and down stairs, without a cane. The only time Burkett was observed using a cane was at his deposition and at the civil trial. Burkett’s doctor testified that the videotaped activities were inconsistent with the injuries and incapacity he claimed to suffer.

Argonaut Insurance Company would like to praise the efforts of its adjuster Shelly Hayes and attorney Ted Strong in recognizing the fraud and taking the necessary and appropriate steps to achieve justice. It is too often that employers feel as if they are held hostage by the employee friendly workers’ compensation laws and fraudulent claimants. The handling of Burkett’s claim displays Argonaut’s commitment to stand tall against workers’ compensation fraud, and to provide its insureds with the best claims adjusting and legal representation available. Furthermore, it evidences Argonaut’s commitment to prevent the waste and abuse of employers’ funds.


About Us

Ted StrongTed Strong

Ted Strong concentrates his law practice on Insurance Claim Investigation/ Coverage Opinions, Workers’ Compensation, Retaliatory Discharge and General Corporate Representation including Business Acquisitions. > READ MORE 

Areas of Practice



   Workers’ Compensation




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300 Vestavia Parkway | Suite 3200
Birmingham, Alabama 35216

Call: 205.824.9779