A West Monroe man now faces one felony count of insurance fraud after submitting a false bodily injury insurance claim stemming from an August 2018 incident at the Sonic Drive-In in Calhoun.
Gary Isaiah Odom, 37, of 2844 Hwy 546, West Monroe, was booked at Ouachita Correctional Center on the charge on Nov. 27.
The insurance claim exposed the company to a liability of more than $30,000, according to records at Fourth Judicial District Court.
The incident occurred more than a year ago. On Aug. 9, 2018, LSP investigators received a complaint from the Crum & Forster Insurance Company in Richardson, Texas that accused Odom of filing a fraudulent bodily injury insurance claim following an incident at the Sonic Drive-In in Calhoun.
The investigation revealed that on June 11, 2018, Gary and Haley Odom went to the Sonic with several family members, including their children. The family sat at a table in the outside dining area.
“After the family received their order, a cup of gravy included with their meal was spilled causing burns to (Gary as well as their 5-month-old child and 14-month-old child),” stated the warrant.
Emergency medical services provided on-scene medical treatment for the three people.
On June 12, 2018, Haley Odom reported the incident to Sonic’s management company. She claimed her husband and 5-month-old child were burned by the hot gravy.
On June 15, 2018, a Crum & Forster claims investigator recorded an interview with Odom. Odom claim a Sonic employee’s careless handling led to the burns.
“Odom went on to say the employee was handling the cup of hot gravy when the spill occurred,” stated the warrant.
The Crum & Forster claims investigator conducted an interview with Haley Odom, too. During that interview, Haley Odom reportedly said she did not see the incident and did not know what really happened.
“No medical bills were submitted by the Odoms to the insurance company for payment,” stated the warrant. “Furthermore, during the investigation a review of the video of the incident shows that Odom’s daughter was handling the gravy and caused the spill, and not the Sonic employee as Gary Odom claimed.”
During questioning by State Police detectives, Odom admitted he misrepresented the facts of the claim.
“Odom said he was aware his daughter caused the spill, not the employee,” stated the warrant. “Odom said he took exception to the way in which the Sonic employees seemed disinterested in calling EMS when the incident occurred, so he therefore claimed they were to blame for the injuries. Odom went on to say he was not going to pursue civil litigation against Sonic and their insurance company, but just let the claim go after it was denied.”
Crum & Forster claimed their exposure, based on Odom’s claim, was more than $30,000.