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Thread Title: Premier Series
Created On Tuesday May 27, 2008 4:33 AM

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Tuesday May 27, 2008 4:33 AM

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By David DePaolo

On Friday, May 23, 2008, we ran a top story detailing the public release of a search warrant by the Los Angeles Superior Court concerning Premier Medical and related entities/persons. The warrant had issued in September of last year, but was just unsealed this month. A follow-up story was published today, Tuesday, May 27.

Our stories on the release of the search warrant named several people identified in the warrant as "suspect attorneys" (the actual phrase used in the warrant), and other names found on a phone log by the investigator and affiant on the warrant.

I anticipated this would cause an uproar in the very close-knit professional circle that is the Southern California workers' compensation community.

It did.

Were there errors in the story? Yes, some folks that were mentioned in the warrant were incorrectly characterized in the story, and a correction issued.

Otherwise the story accurately portrayed accusations made in a sworn affidavit supporting a broadly worded search warrant. Names were detailed. Allegations were conveyed.

Some of our critics have colored the piece as "smear."

I frankly view it as public service.

How many of these good folks knew that they were suspect, or even on a warrant where their premises, possessions and personal effects may be searched?

If they knew, then there is nothing wrong with identifying them.

If they didn't know, then now they do, and they can take whatever action is necessary to protect themselves, their property, their clients and their reputations.

A couple of those mentioned in the story contacted us to provide further explanation and their side of the story. Every single attorney named in the warrant was called either Thursday or Friday. Only five either took calls or returned calls. The rest either don't care, are too busy to care, or are not surprised.

I stand by our piece, and follow up articles.

David DePaolo is editor-in-chief and chief executive officer of WorkCompCentral.

David DePaolo
President, Editor in Chief


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Tuesday May 27, 2008 3:22 PM

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I think a lot more should have been done to explain the source for the names for the search warrents.

What most people will fail to understand or skim over is that somehow, some inept investigator found out about ISO Claim Search, which most of the claims examiners in the industry know as an "INDEX", this information is reported on every claim by every member of the index by some low level insurance company clerk --- the errors are rampant needless to say.

The Index is traditionally run by all member companies in workers' compensation claims where there is lost time. It is a useful tool for determining past claim activity, however reminder this is a tool and not necessarily accurate to any significant degree.

In my years as a claims examiner -- the number of mistaken identities, misidentification of applicant attorney vs. defense attorney and even body parts injured was a daily occurrence.

SO what people need to remember here, is we had criminal investigators with no experience in the insurance industry borrrowing a tool and they were probably not aware of its flaws.

The sad part is people love a train wreck and won't read between the lines that the source for the names was inherently tainted.



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