I was a lease operator for more than 4 years with Prime. During that time I paid nearly 10,000 dollars in insurance premiums, in what was presented as "workers compensation insurance" during the orientation. It was not workmans comp! On the only occasion I had to make use of the insurance I discovered the scam. It unfolded in this way...
On November 6 2009 I was struck in the head with a 13 foot A frame folding ladder. The ladder had been left on a very high roof by Prime employees putting up christmas decorations. The wind was gusting over 40-60 mph on that day.
I had just left the parts room and was walking back to my truck with some hard to find parts for my truck. I was struck on the right side of my head from behind (the ladder not the only thing I did not see coming that day) tearing a gaping hole into my scalp and giving me a concussion.
I went back to the parts room for help. At the desk I asked the attendant to call 911. He did nothing but stare at me without saying a word. I turned my head to show him the injury and he immediately passed out. So I starting yelling for help. When people came they attended the guy that passed out. I started shouting for someone to help me and begged them to call 911. My cell phone had been broken by the ladder and could not call myself.
I turned my head for the people now behind the parts counter to show them I needed help. I heard a womans voice say oh my god call 911. For me or the guy that passed out I can not be sure. At that moment the supervisor for the area came and said DO NOT CALL 911. We have a "first response team" he continued.
Dr Abrhams from the clinic came to the location. I protested that I wanted to go the hospital. I was told that Dr Abrhams would decide if an ambulance was necessary. I was hurt, bleeding, confused and entrusted myself to his care.
I walked with the doc to his office. At his office he placed 7 staples in my head to stop the bleeding. I do not feel he properly irragated the wound before closing it. The doctors office did not have soap for me to wash the blood of my hands. The doctor did not have xray equipment. Xray should have been done to rule out any bleeding inside the head or a possible fracture. I asked if I should get antibiotics he said NO! The doctor returned me to work without even a couple of hours off.
I was not given anything for the pain or to prevent infection. Several days later I was vomiting, had the worse headache of my life, puss was ozzing from head wound, my pillow was soaked in blood and puss and so nasty I had to throw it out. I was sweating, confused, my head was draining YUCK. I was in rough shape and in New Mexico and was not sure how I had gotten there.
I called my doctors office back in Fl for an appointment. When I described the situation I was told to get immediate medical care. I called the insurance I was falsely led to believe was workmans comp. I was given (after several calls) an address to go to. That place did not exist at that time. Several more calls that did not yield a place that would even see me. I am a vet so I went by cab to the veterans hospital.
AT the VA medical center a CAT SCAN was done. AN antiinflamatory, antibiotic were prescribed.
Robert Lowe CEO at prime is said to be fair to his drivers. When I tried to make an appointmentwith him about the concerns that arose of this matter I got an appointment with his lawyer. The lawyer basically said not happy sue us. Why not...no police report, no ambulance, the video of this accident (yes the exit from the parts room is under video survellance) is in hands of Prime. I asked if I could view the video and was denied. I have no rights under workmans comp, because I was not under workmans comp as an outside contractor.
It does state in my lease agreement that Prime get incentives from the vendors that service its lease operators, normal people would call that KICKBACKS. At another trucking outfit I had to do business with that same insurance company BUT at a fraction of the cost. My guess is that its that way because Prime allows it or encourages it.
For the drivers that swear that Prime and Robert Lowe care about their drivers and my suggest that I am just one of the 10's of thousands of drivers that could not make it at Prime explain this.. I had 10 nominations for driver of the month during my career at that company.