Clemente Hernandez, 39, a long-time employee of Jimmy Worrell's Construction, suffered a severed spine after another of Worrell's employees fell asleep on the way back from a job in March 2009 and wrecked the company van. He's seen here at home on July 27, 2012. Worrell, not able to afford the nearly $30,000 premium needed, didn't have a proper workman's comp policy at the time. Instead he used a nearly worthless "ghost policy" as proof of insurance to contractors who demanded it before hiring him and his crew. Hernandez has yet to receive a single check. A half-million dollars in medical bills at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville have not been paid.
Clemente Hernandez, 39, a long-time employee of Jimmy Worrell's Construction, suffered a severed spine after another of Worrell's employees fell asleep on the way back from a job in March 2009 and wrecked the company van. He's seen here at home on July 27, 2012. Worrell, not able to afford the nearly $30,000 premium needed, didn't have a proper workman's comp policy at the time. Instead he used a nearly worthless "ghost policy" as proof of insurance to contractors who demanded it before hiring him and his crew. Hernandez has yet to receive a single check. A half-million dollars in medical bills at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville have not been paid. Shawn Rocco srocco@newsobserver.com
Clemente Hernandez, 39, a long-time employee of Jimmy Worrell's Construction, suffered a severed spine after another of Worrell's employees fell asleep on the way back from a job in March 2009 and wrecked the company van. He's seen here at home on July 27, 2012. Worrell, not able to afford the nearly $30,000 premium needed, didn't have a proper workman's comp policy at the time. Instead he used a nearly worthless "ghost policy" as proof of insurance to contractors who demanded it before hiring him and his crew. Hernandez has yet to receive a single check. A half-million dollars in medical bills at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville have not been paid. Shawn Rocco srocco@newsobserver.com

Part 2: Injured worker pays for employer's gamble

August 13, 2012 12:00 AM