May 31, 2013: The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has charged55-year-old Lance Henderson with Insurance Fraud and Attempted Theft by Deception for filing a fraudulent insurance claim for an “injury” he allegedly suffered on a SEPTA bus.
Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit (IFU) began investigating Lance Henderson after receiving a fraud referral from SEPTA. Henderson allegedly filed a personal injury claim against SEPTA for an injury he said he sustained on May 24, 2012. On that date, the operator of the SEPTA Route 46 bus was concluding his shift and had stopped the bus at 60th Street and Callowhill Street. As the operator exited the bus, he heard a passenger comment that his umbrella was stuck in the rear exit door. The operator opened the door and left it open as he walked off the bus. As another operator entered the bus to begin her shift, Henderson allegedly told her that the previous operator had closed the door on his foot. Paramedics reported to the scene. On a SEPTA claim form, Henderson alleged that he had screamed and yelled for help for forty-five seconds to a minute until a man came to his aid. Henderson alleged that his foot and ankle had been stuck in the door and he could not free either until the second operator opened the door.
Henderson sought treatment at Mercy Hospital for pain in his left ankle. Over the course of the following eight months, Henderson sought physical therapy and went to approximately forty-four doctor’s appointments. Henderson told the medical providers treating him that he had injured his back, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle as a result of this incident. Henderson retained counsel to file suit for the injuries he claimed to have sustained on the SEPTA Route 46 bus. Henderson’s attorney submitted over $5000 worth of medical bills.
IFU detectives reviewed surveillance video from the Route 46 bus. The video establishes that, as the bus approached 60th and Callowhill, Henderson stood up and moved toward the rear door of the bus. As Henderson stood at the edge of the stairwell, the rear door started to close. Henderson’s foot prevented the door from fully closing. The closing door made light contact with his hat but he appears to be undisturbed and the hat does not move. The video shows that Henderson then said something to the operator who re-opened the door. However, the video does not show the bus door directly closing on Henderson’s foot or ankle, nor does his ankle, hip, knee, lower back or shoulder appear to be affected. Henderson also does not twist or turn in an effort to free his foot from the door as he initially claimed on medical forms nor does anyone ever come to his aid.
Based on their investigation, IFU detectives arrested Lance Henderson on May 28, 2013, and he is due in court for a status hearing on June 3, 2013. ADA Dawn Holtz and Detective Donald Murtha of IFU are specially assigned to this case.
This is the second time in less than two months time that Henderson has been arrested and charged by Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit. On April 23, 2013 Henderson was charged with Insurance Fraud, Attempted Theft by Deception and Perjury for an incident at a Fresh Grocer Supermarket in 2011.
Henderson allegedly filed a personal injury claim against Fresh Grocer for an injury he said he sustained on June 2, 2011, while shopping at the store located at 5601 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. According to Henderson, he was walking past a smoked meat case, which had a piece of metal protruding from the bottom that ripped his sneaker and caused him to fall. Although Henderson reported the incident to an employee of the store, he did not request medical attention nor did he appear to be injured.
Later that evening, Henderson sought treatment at Mercy Hospital for pain in his right ankle. Over the course of the following three months, Henderson sought physical therapy and went to over twenty-five doctor’s appointments. Henderson told the medical providers treating him that he had injured his foot, ankle, hip and lower back as a result of this incident.
Henderson retained counsel to file suit for the injuries he claimed to have sustained while shopping at Fresh Grocer. Henderson’s attorney submitted over five thousand dollars worth of medical bills and Henderson testified at an arbitration hearing in connection with his claim. In his testimony, Henderson described falling sideways and backwards after his body was pulled back as his foot caught the protruding metal object. Henderson also testified that he injured his neck, back, foot and knees as a result of the fall. The arbitrators hearing the case ruled against Henderson and in favor of Fresh Grocer.
IFU detectives reviewed surveillance footage from security cameras in Fresh Grocer, which contradicted Henderson’s testimony. The video shows that Henderson never came into contact with a piece of metal under the smoked meat case nor does he come into contact with any other object in the supermarket. Furthermore, the video shows that Henderson did not fall to the ground at any point. IFU detectives also retrieved the sneakers that Henderson claimed were ripped as a result of the incident. The sneakers are well-worn but there is no significant rip or tear into the allegedly damaged portion of the sneaker.
Henderson is due in court for these charges on June 4, 2013 in courtroom 406. ADA Dawn Holtz and Detective Donald Murtha of IFU are specially assigned to this case.