Lakin files new batch of class actions against insurance cos.

Steve Gonzalez Feb. 14, 2005, 3:49pm

Bradley Lakin of the Wood River Lakin Law Firm--a Madison County class action goliath--showed his might by filing seven class action lawsuits Feb. 14 on behalf of four local chiropractors against eight different insurance companies.

Madison County chiropractors have filed more than 40 class action lawsuits since 2003, nearly all of them handled by Lakin's firm.

In the most recent case filings, chiropractors allege the insurance companies improperly applied Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) discounts, withheld payment for valid insurance claims and unfairly profited by their schemes.

According to the complaints, the insurance companies' "acts and omissions" constitute fraud, civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment, and are in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.

The cases include:

  • Richard Coy filed suit against Country Mutual Insurance

  • Frank Ryan Bemis, Frank C. Bemis and Richard Coy filed suit against Zurich Services Corp. of Schaumburg.

  • Individually, Coy filed suit against AIG Claims Services and National Insurance Company of Pittsburgh alleging the defendants systematically imposed improper PPO reductions on its payouts for medical treatment even though they do not have a valid contractual right to do so.

  • Coy filed suit against Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company.

  • In another suit, Frank C. Bemis joins Coy against Travelers Casualty and Surety and Travelers Indemnity Company.

  • Individually, Bemis filed suit against Safeco Insurance Company alleging Safeco improperly reduced payouts under medical payment coverage by using biased third party bill audit software programs to adjust medical claims he submitted.

    Bemis claims Safeco's policies require them to pay all reasonable expenses for medical treatment in "covered" accidents. According to the complaint, Safeco defrauded Bemis of payments for which he was entitled.

  • Coy and Thomas Kaltenbronn filed a suit against Focus HealthCare Management alleging Focus deceptively entered into PPO organizations with plaintiffs for the purpose of increasing the volume of auto accident and workers' compensation insureds seeking services from them through referrals, steerage and channeling.

    Plaintiffs allege Focus used biased software to re-price submitted bills to reduce costs for insurance companies in order to boost sales and profits.

    The cases have yet to be assigned to a judge and all seek damages not to exceed $75,000 per class member.

    Freed & Weiss, a Chicago law firm, will assist Lakin in the cases.

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