CHAPTER 23. WORKERS' COMPENSATION.

§23-1-19. Civil remedies.

(a) Any person, firm, corporation, or other entity which willfully, by means of false statement or representation, or by concealment of any material fact, or by other fraudulent scheme, device, or artifice on behalf of himself or herself, itself, or others, obtains or attempts to obtain benefits, payments, allowances, or reduced premium costs or other charges, including Workers’ Compensation coverage, from the Insurance Commissioner, a private carrier, or self-insured employer, to which he, she, or it is not entitled, or in a greater amount than that to which he, she, or it is entitled, shall be liable to the Insurance Commissioner, private carrier, or self-insured employer, whichever is applicable, in an amount equal to three times the amount of such benefits, payments, or allowances to which he, she, or it is not entitled and shall be liable for the payment of reasonable attorney fees and all other fees and costs of litigation.

(b) No criminal action or indictment need be brought against any person, firm, corporation, or other entity as a condition for establishing civil liability hereunder.

(c) A civil action under this section may be prosecuted and maintained on behalf of the Insurance Commissioner, a private carrier, or self-insured employer by any attorney in contract with or employed by the Insurance Commissioner, a private carrier, or self-insured employer to provide such representation.

(d) Venue for a civil action under this section shall be either in the county in which the defendant resides or in Kanawha County as selected by the Insurance Commissioner. Venue for a civil action under this section for private carriers and self-insured employers shall be either in the county in which the defendant resides or the county in which the injured worker was employed, as selected by the private carrier or self-insured employer.

(e) The remedies and penalties provided in this section are in addition to those remedies and penalties provided elsewhere by law.