Posts tagged as:

insurance fraud

An insurance fraud tip

by Walter Olson on September 8, 2014

Before you file a claim of amputation of all four of your limbs, be aware that such a claim is checkable [Insurance Journal; South Carolina] (& welcome Lowering the Bar readers).

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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]

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January 10 roundup

by Walter Olson on January 10, 2014

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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…

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October 18 roundup

by Walter Olson on October 18, 2012

  • 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]

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Torts roundup

by Walter Olson on July 6, 2012

  • 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

by Walter Olson on April 25, 2012

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March 15 roundup

by Walter Olson on March 15, 2012

  • 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)]

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Cracked has a selection that includes disgraced Pennsylvania judge Michael Joyce (on whom), the pro wrestler on disability, a church with leaders who “have had so many X-rays that I wouldn’t be surprised if they glowed in the dark,” and — eeeeuw! — a couple of deliberately glass-eating restaurant-goers.

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“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]

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July 24 roundup

by Walter Olson on July 24, 2010

  • San Francisco considers, then tables, ban on pet sales at stores [Amy Alkon]
  • Florida: we’ll pull you into our courts as an online-defamation defendant even if you’ve never set foot here [CBS4.com]
  • Bratz case: “Alex Kozinski gives Barbie a spanking” [AtL]
  • GEICO launches counterattack against crash fraud in New York [PoL]
  • When a lawyer sues the wrong doctor: hey, isn’t everyone entitled to mistakes now and then? [American Medical News, sanctions affirmed in Virginia case]
  • “[Congressman Alan] Grayson’s shakedown lawsuit threatens D.C. business” [LaFetra, PLF/Examiner]
  • Asbestos: Do component makers have a duty to warn about other manufacturers’ hazardous products? [Cal Biz Lit and two followups on California decisions, NAM and Levy Phillips & Konigsberg on a since-settled New York case against Foster Wheeler]
  • Subsidies for durum wheat flowed in happy circle for everyone but taxpayer and consumer [Mark Perry]

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“For several years, [defendant Susana] Chung ‘acted as the conduit’ of fraudulent insurance claims filed in connection with staged crashes in Northern California, said Larry Blazer, an Alameda County assistant district attorney.” Nearly 100 persons, mostly “victims” of bogus accidents but also including three chiropractors, have been found guilty in the scheme. [San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune via ABA Journal]

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Kevin Underhill at Lowering the Bar catalogues claimant indiscretions that include performing a jig while being supposedly virtually unable to walk, and appearing regularly on a home-improvement cable TV show while collecting $147,000 in disability payments.

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No, it turns out, very much alive, and now a Florida couple may have to give back that $2 million insurance payout [Sioux Falls, S.D. Argus-Leader via Obscure Store]

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November 4 roundup

by Walter Olson on November 4, 2009

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September 15 roundup

by Walter Olson on September 15, 2009

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June 23 roundup

by Walter Olson on June 23, 2009

  • In case you were waiting for it: update on “toxic-bra” litigation [OnPoint News, Kashmir Hill, Above the Law (noting that rashes can have many different causes); earlier]
  • Parts 5 & 6 of White Coat’s malpractice-suit saga [opposition's expert witness; emotional support]
  • “Global Insurance Fraud by North Korea Outlined” [Washington Post]
  • British cops aren’t saying which famous buildings you can be stopped/searched for photographing [BoingBoing]
  • FBI said to probe whether construction-defect lawyers have improper ties to Nevada homeowner associations that give them business [Carter Wood at Point of Law]
  • With junk science in even criminal prosecutions, is there hope of keeping it out of civil cases? [Coyote]
  • “Remember when you could fight with a sibling and not face arrest?” [Obscure Store, 10-year-old Texas girl]
  • Australian man obtains patent on “circular transportation facilitation device”, otherwise known as “the wheel”, to make point about ease of obtaining weak patents [eight years ago on Overlawyered]

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May 7 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 7, 2009

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