Assignment of Benefits–The Bone Dry Rebuttal!

Most of us know what happened to AOB reform bills during this year’s regular session.  Meaningful, helpful, changes were approved in the house.  However, fearing the senate might follow suit, two trial lawyers—Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) and Sen. Gary Farmer (D-Ft. Lauderdale) teamed to shut down the companion bill by Senator Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) and Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples).  No senate vote.  Not even a debate.

Oh well! [Read more…]

AOB… Lawmakers need to solve the problem!

Someone’s been brewing the stew.  Since lawmakers came to town nearly 70 articles and/or editorials favorable to reforming Assignment of Benefits (AOB) have appeared in the mainstream.  Recently, others have popped up including radio ads, YouTube video’s and more.

And, they all blame the abuse on 3rd party vendors and their trial attorneys. [Read more…]

Gottlieb’s Golden Goose!!

While studying for his law degree Californian Kenneth Gottlieb (not to be confused with former Representative and current Circuit Judge Ken Gottlieb of Florida) often bragged to fellow students that he would put his diploma to a somewhat unusual purpose.  He would avoid the typical, reputedly lucrative fields: medical malpractice, contract law, Real Estate or administrative law.  He’d focus instead on the most profitable specialty of all.

His career, indeed his life plan, would be to commit insurance fraud–as diabolically and as often as he possibly could.

Shamelessly he opined to all who would listen that he could so abundantly profit stealing from insurers, and do so quickly enough, that the wealth he would amass before being apprehended would far exceed the meager penalties doled out for insurance fraud. [Read more…]

Assignment of Benefits—It’s the data stupid!

When it comes to legislative reforms of Assignment of Benefits (AOB), everyone attending the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Miami Insurance Summit noticed a brighter light at the end of a shortening tunnel.

Despite distractions of Workers Compensation and the potential repeal of No-Fault (PIP), AOB stole the Miami show; including noted reform endorsements from Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater and Insurance Commissioner, David Altmaier and others.

Even unrelated panels and/or presentations morphed, to one degree or another, into an AOB discussion.  Including one noteworthy collection of media experts proving some in the mainstream have firmed their grip on the problem.  The Chamber’s newest video is a composite of a few TV expose’s revealing the need for reform.  Check it out. It’s a good one. [Read more…]

Attorney Fees, AOB reforms & AOC!

I heard a commercial on my car radio by John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan. I’m pretty sure I got it exactly right. Without a scintilla of equivocation, he affirmatively stated as fact… “Insurance companies are our enemy and they are your enemy.  Do not trust anything they do or say!”

While thinking he likely trusts insurance companies enough to pay premiums for the protection of his home and business, I also thought of the response those he insulted might render. I knew there would be none—it’s the lack of fear that there would be any consequence whatsoever that creates the necessary hutzpah to say such a thing on the open air. [Read more…]

Bad Apple Attorneys!

This post is about the bad apples who employ every delay tactic they can, including lying to a court, to force settlements under Florida’s one-way attorney fee statute–avoiding actually having to “lawyer” a case to court. [Read more…]

Assignment of Benefits— Lawyers “lie to court”

You’ve read my past opinions on the reprimands judges have given to some Florida plaintiff’s attorneys.  In describing their bad behavior court documents contain phrases like “trifled with the justice system” and the words “perpetrated”, “fraud” or “deception” –all to describe trial attorneys and firms doing what they too often accuse insurers of doing; “acting in Bad Faith.”   

Nothing confirms bad faith by some plaintiff firms and their complicity with public adjusters more than the recent case of Auto Owners vs. Summit Townhomes—a Colorado suit involving one of Florida’s leading lawsuit mills, the Merlin Law Group.  (See Note #1 below) [Read more…]

The War Against Managed Repair!

While I write these words millions of homeowners are still mopping up after Hurricane Matthew. Some have lost their homes. Others their lives.  Concomitantly, after meticulously implementing their Cat Plans, Florida insurers, agents and emergency personnel of every breed worked, literally 24/7, to return property and persons to pre-storm condition.  (See Note #1 below)

Shameful that too many responders are of a different persuasion–Matthew is to them, what the civil war was to carpetbaggers—a disgraceful occasion to profit.

Always in the name of consumers! [Read more…]

WILBUR JONES..In Memoriam!

A while back a former insurance agent and friend of mine, Wilbur Jones, celebrated his 101st birthday by having dinner at one of Tallahassee’s premier downtown venues, appropriately named…the 101 Restaurant.

This morning I read the sad news that Wilbur Jones had passed away, dying of natural causes at the age of 104.

He was an unusual man to say the least.  [Read more…]

Assignment of Benefits–ditto for any vendor!

No one really needs more proof that remediators of all types conspire to defraud the public.  I certainly don’t.  Not when it comes to Assignment of Benefits (AOB).

Even when exposed for having done so they and their attorneys will often play the blame game, so their fraud game, can continue to bring home the bacon.  Blame each other, blame the policyholder.  Blame it on a billing mistake that’s been corrected or a bad employee that’s been disciplined or fired.

Then…do it all over again! [Read more…]