By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office charged 10 people with faking injuries on a SEPTA bus.
Video surveillance caught a SEPTA Route ‘C’ bus traveling north on Broad Street in April of 2010 when the bus’ side-view mirror clipped an abandoned newsstand.
D.A. Seth Williams said the images show no passenger was disturbed — none made sudden reactive movements — as a result of the contact.
But, Williams said the transit agency started getting personal injury claim notices from seven law firms representing 10-passengers, who are now defendants charged with insurance fraud.
“Four of the individuals weren’t even on the bus,” Williams said.
SEPTA General Counsel Jim Jordan originally helped develop cameras on SEPTA buses for crime detection and prevention purposes. “We never anticipated that it would prove so valuable in also catching and preventing fraudulent claims.”
All of the claims included demands of money from SEPTA for medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Jordan says if the claims were either settled or decided by a jury, each of them could have cost SEPTA $10,000 to $100,000.