Joined: Jun 2002
Wednesday March 22, 2006 12:58 PM
The following is an e-mail received from attorney John Mendoza and my response:
From Mendoza -
Subject: SUBSCRIBER COMPLAINT
We are subscribers and practicing attorneys in the State of California. One thing about workcompcentral to which many of my colleagues and I take GREAT objection, is your constant posting of arrests and convictions of so called workers compensation fraud by applicants and those in the applicant related medical practices. In the 17 years that I have practiced in this area, I have seen a great volume of fraud on the part of claims adjusters who have submitted back-dated denial letters, lied about the timing of service of various documents, and illegally denied claims. In fact, it seems clear that a far greater volume of organized fraud takes place on the employer/carrier side of the bar than on the applicant side.
It is quite obvious that applicants do not have the same unity, nor resources of that maintained by the insurance industry, and, therefore, are unable to investigate and maintain on going fraud prevention on the part of adjusters and employers. Thus, naturally, what will come to light are the instances that have been exposed AS A RESULT OF SIGNIFICANT INSURANCE INDUSTRY FINANCIAL EFFORTS TO expose fraud. The applicants simply dont have that same ability to expose the fraud taking place on the part of carriers and employers.
Fraud on both sides of the bar is objectionable. It is a good thing when it is stopped. However, your reporting is lopsided, and, thus, objectionable.
My colleagues and I will be happy to furnish you with these incidents (incidents of employers and carriers defrauding applicants)...we will expect that you will publish them as readily as you do these other cases, many of which have NOT even reached final dispositions in court (as well as those that have reached final dispositions).
Very truly yours,
John A. Mendoza
Applicants Attorneys for Fairness to Californias Injured Workers
Response by DePaolo -
Hi John and thank you for your comments.
As a news service our resources are limited to the extent that others bring issues before us.
The reason you see stories of fraud by injured workers is because there are entities that issue releases which provide our reporters leads by which to generate stories.
When an insurance company commits fraud, and there is a lead to that story, we likewise report it - see e.g. all of the various stories on Hank Greenberg, AIG, Zurich, Marsh etc on various charges from money laundering to bid rigging. We have published stories of adjuster fraud where there has been a criminal complaint or conviction, or other regulatory action taken.
If you have leads to stories of carrier fraud, we would love to have those. Sources will be checked, and if reputable will be followed.
The applicant bar has no standing to object in my opinion. The voices that are heard are those that speak. Again, if you have leads to stories of carrier fraud, we will gladly pursue them and publish the stories.
All story leads should be directed to Jim Sams - firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, Editor in Chief