Posts Tagged ‘insurance fraud’

Philadelphia: creative uses for deer carcasses

After two insurance companies noticed patterns of suspicious claims associated with the same Philadelphia body shop, 41 persons were charged in what prosecutors say was a multi-faceted array of fraud schemes involving the participation of insurance adjusters, police, a municipal official and tow truck drivers. “According to investigators, Galati Sr. routinely created false accounts of vehicles being damaged by accidents involving falling objects, deer, and other animals to increase amounts received for insurance claims. Investigators say Galati Sr. went as far as to have employees gather and store deer blood, hair and carcasses in the shop’s garage to be used as props in photos that were later submitted with insurance claims.” Other misconduct charged includes deliberate crashing and vandalism of vehicles, and the obtaining of a $1.8 million contract with the city of Philadelphia for which investigators claim Galati’s shop lacked the contract requirements. [NBC Philadelphia, Auto Body News]

January 10 roundup

  • Faking a Sept. 11 injury would seem basically as disgraceful as faking a war injury, no? [NY Post, Legal Ethics Forum; earlier on Ground Zero compensation here, here, here, here, here (2008 fraud), here, etc. ]
  • “Illegal Aliens May Get License to Practice Law in California” [Volokh, earlier] A curious companion headline from only three and a half years ago, and also from California: “Government seeks forfeiture, managers’ prison time for hiring illegal aliens”
  • A look back at the Keller Satanic-ritual-abuse case from Texas [Slate]
  • Piacentile v. Amgen case “offers a little window into the ugly side of the qui tam business” [Steve McConnell, Drug and Device Law; related from same blog on case of U.S. ex rel. Watson v. King-Vassel, here and here]
  • “Father and Daughter Sentenced in $1.5 Million Insurance Fraud Case” [San Diego D.A.]
  • Michael McConnell in the Yale Law Journal on religious freedom;
  • Child support law madness, Virginia division [Hans Bader]

Not just for viral Russian videos

The price of dashboard cameras has dropped to the point of an impulse purchase, but they still haven’t become common in the United States among motorists, those in law enforcement aside. They hold promise as a way of improving the allocation of fault in collisions, and especially in curbing varieties of insurance fraud such as the “swoop-and-squat,” but Popular Mechanics surely hasn’t thought matters through when it asserts, “In the real world, it means you win and the other guy loses in a dispute.” At least if the other guy was in the wrong and the camera was pointed in the right direction…

October 18 roundup

  • In Motor City of “Detropia,” sole remaining industrial-scale activity is the grinding of axes [Asron Renn, Urbanophile]
  • Challenge to independent-contractor status: “Strippers Win $13 Million Class Settlement” [Courthouse News Service]
  • “Homeowners Who Spent $220K in Legal Fees to Fight $2K HOA Lawn Bill Win Court Case After 11 Years” [ABA Journal]
  • Logical skills no prerequisite for brief-drafting job with Florida attorney general’s office [Volokh]
  • Death of officer in high-speed chase leads to notice of tort claim against NJ town [South Jersey Times]
  • “Man Who Made Fake Dead Cat Insurance Claim to Be Sentenced; May Have Tried Same Stunt with Fake Dead Parrot” [Seattle Weekly]
  • Dallas lawyer who sued TV station over not passing along referral calls is now in another spot of bother [SE Texas Record]

Torts roundup

  • House Judiciary passes measure (FACT Act) promoting transparency of asbestos trusts, could preserve assets for honest claimants by curbing n-tuple dippers [Harold Kim/US Chamber, Ted Frank] “$48 million jackpot justice asbestos award for 86-year-old” [Frank]
  • Canadian court: car crash caused chronic cough [Magraken]
  • Push in Connecticut legislature to ease expert testimony threshold, thus enabling more med-mal suits [Zachary Janowski, Raising Hale]
  • Georgia court: residents on notice of wild alligators, golf club not liable for elderly woman’s demise [Daily Report]
  • “NYT is inconceivably shocked that NYC defends itself in lawsuits instead of blindly writing multimillion $ checks.” [@tedfrank]
  • Arizona court declines Third Restatement’s invitation to gut duty prerequisite in tort law [David Oliver]
  • Vintage insurance fraud: “The Slip-and-fall Queen” [Brendan Koerner via @petewarden]
  • Relaxation of fault in auto cases: “Richard Nixon’s Torts Note” [Robinette, TortsProf] “Reforming the Reform: No-Fault Auto Insurance” [same]

April 25 roundup

March 15 roundup

  • Part III of Radley Balko series on painkiller access [HuffPo]
  • “Note: Add ‘Judge’s Nameplate’ to List of Things Not to Steal” [Lowering the Bar]
  • California’s business-hostile climate: if the ADA mills don’t get you, other suits might [CACALA]
  • Bottom story of the month: ABA president backs higher legal services budget [ABA Journal]
  • After string of courtroom defeats, Teva pays to settle Nevada propofol cases [Oliver, earlier]
  • Voting Rights Act has outstayed its constitutional welcome [Ilya Shapiro/Cato] More: Stuart Taylor, Jr./The Atlantic.
  • Huge bust of what NY authorities say was $279 million crash-fraud ring NY Post, NYLJ, Business Insider, Turkewitz (go after dishonest docs on both sides)]

Update: Hoeffner reaches plea deal with feds

“Houston plaintiffs’ attorney Warren Todd Hoeffner, whose criminal case ended in a mistrial in October 2009, has struck a deal with federal prosecutors. Prosecutors agreed to defer a new trial for one year on the criminal charges against Hoeffner. Among other conditions, the agreement calls for Hoeffner to pay the government $2,485,000 and agree to a voluntary suspension of his Texas law license for two years.” Prosecutors said Hoeffner paid millions to insurance company claims department employees in the course of obtaining $34 million in silicosis payouts; his lawyers argued at trial that the employees extorted consideration as a condition of approving otherwise fair settlements. [Brenda Jeffreys, Texas Lawyer; earlier here and here]