A Lauderhill man with a history of slipping and falling has been charged with insurance fraud, court records show.
Kevin Lorenzo Nicholson, 53, was arrested Sunday for an alleged incident that happened Feb. 12, 2020.
According to the police report, he entered a Publix in Tamarac about 6:30 p.m. and fell in aisle seven.
Nicholson claimed he was about to put a beverage in his cart when he stepped on a weight and string attached to a Valentine’s Day helium balloon, then slipped and fell to the floor allegedly hurting his back, leg, and ankle.
A witness called out to store employees, “Come here, right here, I saw this guy go down,” the report stated.
The store manager sat Nicholson in a Publix electric motor cart and called paramedics. After Nicholson was treated, the witness helped Nicholson fill out the store’s slip and fall incident report, the manager said.
After they left Publix, the manager looked at the store’s surveillance video and realized the incident was staged, the report stated.
The video showed Nicholson positioning the balloon weight with his foot before holding onto a shelf and his shopping cart and lowering himself to the floor.
The witness entered the store moments later and went straight to aisle seven, saw Nicholson on the floor, and called for help, the video showed.
Nicholson asked Publix to pay for more than $5,000 in medical fees for 18 physical therapy sessions that followed. It was part of a $400,000 injury claim for pain and suffering, according to the arrest report.
It was later discovered the witness was Nicholson’s cousin. They lived together and this was not the first time the cousin witnessed Nicholson fall inside a business, police said.
During a deposition last November, Nicholson admitted to two or three previous slip and fall cases.
In August 2015, Nicholson slipped on some water and fell in the restroom of a Red Lobster. His cousin happened to be eating at the restaurant at the time. Nicholson received an undisclosed financial settlement, investigators said.
Later that year, Nicholson said he slipped and fell inside a Winn Dixie supermarket but there was no financial settlement.
In 2017, there was another slip and fall on a piece of paper in a Publix, but Nicholson said he couldn’t remember if there was a financial settlement.
Nicholson admitted to staging the fall and said his cousin was part of the deception, police said.
His cousin was not named in the arrest report, but he is referred to as a co-defendant in the insurance fraud case.
Nicholson was released from the Broward County Jail Monday on a $3,500 bond, records show.