Every investigator begins a case with the goal of reaching an outcome that supports the client’s objective. However, preconceived judgments can skew the investigator’s outlook, can impact yours or your client’s credibility, and may create irreparable damage.
Several years ago, ResultQuest
was called upon to evaluate the work conducted by another investigations company that had conducted surveillance in a worker’s compensation case in which the subject claimed to have suffered a debilitating workplace injury —leaving the worker severely limited in his activities, and preventing him from driving or walking without aid.
A representative of the other investigation company had stated in an initial meeting with the client law firm, “These guys always lie—we’ll get him.” The company’s investigators then proceeded to spend over 100 hours following a male, presumed and boldly reported to be the subject, and documenting his activities in and around the subject’s small hometown in East Texas. This individual was targeted after the investigator witnessed him driving a car owned by the subject, and often parked at his residence.
Aside from assessing the results of the other investigators, our directive from the attorneys was to establish the veracity of the subject’s injury claim. Upon initial appraisal of the video footage of the physically active male driver, we recognized him to have facial characteristics that bore close resemblance to a photograph of the subject; however, he appeared to be shorter and moderately slighter in build. Supplemental research performed by our investigators identified a brother of the subject, approximately one year older with similar attributes. We were able to determine that the individual the other company had monitored and videotaped was actually the older brother. There was no indication that the other company had discovered or even
the existence of a brother.
Additionally, the other company’s investigators had reported that the rural location of the subject’s home rendered discreet visual observation of the premises impossible. However, under suitable pretext our investigator approached the owner of a large agricultural tract across the street from the home. The farmer actually volunteered his disdain for the subject due to past issues over unauthorized hunting, and permission was granted to park a surveillance vehicle at an inconspicuous vantage point on the property.
Over the course of two sequential days, our investigator used