Home > Uncategorized > Lien Claimant Sanctioned for $40 Offer of “Compensation” to Applicant

Lien Claimant Sanctioned for $40 Offer of “Compensation” to Applicant

Lien claimants.  As a workers’ compensation defense attorney, it’s always nice to see the workers’ compensation Judges and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board take notice of wrongful behavior on their parts.  Thus, I bring to your attention the case of Gabriel Sanchez v. Enrichment Enterprises, Inc.  The case-in-chief is not the focus of today’s post.

The lien at issue was that of translating services allegedly provided at five medical appointments.  An interesting twist in the case is that applicant speaks English and apparently appeared in propria persona at one point without the assistance of a translator.  The lien being contested by the attorney for defendant, lien claimant decided to raise the stakes to collect.  And raise the stakes he certainly did.

It appears that Alberto Stambuk, the owner of Logos Language, stands accused of approaching the applicant at a status conference and offering him some sort of compensation if he would tell the WCJ that he needed the services provided by the translator.  In fact, if the applicant is to be believed, he was offered $40.00 and possibly lunch by Mr. Stambuk for his “assistance.”  Instead, lien claimant was sanctioned $2,500.

Your humble blogger is not one to side with applicants, but I can see where Mr. Sanchez is coming from with respect to interpreter services.  Mr. Sanchez probably exerted considerable effort to learn English as a second language and is probably quite proud of being able to communicate in English.  At the same time, there is absolutely no reason to have a total stranger in the room with you and your treating physician “translating” for you.

Ultimately, the sanctions were upheld and the Court of Appeal denied lien claimant’s petition for a writ of review.  Applause is deserved by the WCJ and WCAB for making sure this sort of behavior is detected, processed and punished.  At the same time, the defense was very fortunate in that the applicant appeared to be an honest person who was unwilling to lie to a WCJ for $40 and a meal.  It does not take much stretching of the imagination to picture a lien claimant offering more “compensation” to an applicant less ethical than Mr. Sanchez, and some agreement being reached.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. alberto stambuk
    August 19, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Mr. Sanchez by his own admission in his depo was fluent 50-50 in the beginning of his case. My agency assisted him then when he was not able to communicate 100 per cent with his doctors. We covered only 5 appointments and two of them were Med Legal where our interpreter took the history of the case, two treatment and the last one was the deposition Transcript review, Two of them with Mr. Sanchez affidavit that he needed an interpreter . After those 4 appointments Mr. Sanchez case continued for two more years until Mr. Sanchez received 200.000 settlements in a stress case. I offered Mr. Sanchez 40 dollars witness fees to come and testify that he needed an interpreter in the beginning of the case. I was erroneously sanctioned. This humble Blogger should review the case more closely before jumping into wrong conclusions. 40 dollars witness fee to collect on a 700 dollars lien is no bribe before anybody’s’ fair judgment, Unfortunately this WCAJ was blind to all the evidence and they are protected in their judgment no matter what they decide by a prior case called La Garza There were 12 agencies that filed interpreting liens on request of different doctors including the QME. In my eyes Mr. Sanchez was not honest at all.

  2. alberto stambuk
    August 20, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Mr. Sanchez worked very hard going to school during the more than two years his treatment lasted improving his English. Still the court transcripts show many flaws when he testifies. I think he was very tired as you say:
    -to have a total stranger in the room with you and your treating physician “translating” for you.
    He had interpreters for every single appointment (My agency did not cover those. Only four in the beginning of his case). The doctors and the attorneys would order an interpreter for him all the time. And he used to tell doctors and his own attorney that he did not need an interpreter but as he had a very strong accent they kept sending him interpreters. (My agency read to him the deposition transcript and he had an interpreter for each legal assignment) Back in those days I had the protocol to contact applicants at the time of their MSC (his interpreter was present and we did not dispatched him) to make sure that when the lien conference comes I am able to send a subpoena to the right address to have his testimony if necessary. Besides Mr. Sanchez after settling his case without any money worries or work came to the court 7 times to testify that he was frustrated because they were wasting the insurance money in interpreters he did not need. That impressed very much the WCAJ but the judge failed to realize that my agency was not sending the interpreters to each appointment. I never thought that I would be sanctioned. I was resisting the idea that any judge in the world would believe I am guilty for offering 35-40 dollars witness fee as set by statute. I did not prepare enough for the trial. I am still in denial that I have been sanctioned for something I did not do.
    I offered him 35-40 .Back in those days (may 14 2009) I was not sure of the specific amount that statute required. But I am sure now. I just had a trial in Pomona with the applicant ready to testify in his case that he needed our services and he got paid 35 dollars not a penny more or less. I also offered him a sandwich at lunch time! (Mr. Sanchez got confused and said dinner during his testimony)
    It has been very hard for me all these years. I have spent lots of money in legal fees but as I said before WCAJ are immune to any challenge in their judgment unless is based on legal issues. I call it “La divina Garza” (in English translates as the Holy Spirit) Untouchable. I learned a lot in this regrettable happening.
    But believe me my agency is a family business and we try to offer good and reasonable services in all translating needs; we also do conference interpreting and written translations. We also count as our clients a couple of important defense attorneys.
    Thank you Mr. Grenberg for this opportunity to clarify this succession of unfortunate events.

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