UPDATE: Jacksonville Roofer Pleads Guilty and Pays Back Homeowner in Clay County

Jacksonville roofer Roger Van Den Bosch has paid back one Clay County homeowner and pleaded guilty to first-degree misdemeanor trespassing. He resolved a separate Duval County case, pleading guilty to four felonies, and agreeing to pay back the customers fully. Van Den Bosch and his company Kinnecorps still face a civil lawsuit from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

Click here to read the article. (Previous post)

Filed under Fraud, Property (Homeowners)

No Need to Reschedule – Keep Your Claims Moving and GO VIRTUAL!

We Are Able to Facilitate Virtual Examinations Under Oath, Hearings and Depositions!

Don’t cancel! Go virtual!

Recorded statements are not your only choice for presuit investigations and litigation (consent from all parties required). We can facilitate virtual Examinations Under Oath, hearings and depositions.

At this time, the claim investigation deadlines remain under each policy of insurance and under Florida Statutes.

Courthouses have limited operations and are shifting to electronic hearings and suspending jury trials. Our essential services remain uninterrupted. We are handling files via remote technological platforms (videoconference or teleconference) to eliminate the need for people to gather or come in and out of the courthouse.

There may be a small additional cost of $75 – $500.

Please review the Florida Supreme Court Administrative Order for Administering Oaths via Remote Audio-Video Communications Equipment. It orders the following:

  • Notaries and other persons qualified to administer an oath in the State of Florida may swear a witness remotely by audio-video communication technology from a location within the State of Florida, provided they can positively identify the witness; and
  • If a witness is not located within the State of Florida, a witness may consent to being put on oath via audio-video communication technology by a person qualified to administer an oath in the State of Florida; and
  • All rules of procedure, court orders, and opinions applicable to remote testimony, depositions, and other legal testimony, including the attestation of family law forms, that can be read to limit or prohibit the use of audio-video communications equipment to administer oaths remotely or to witness the attestation of family law forms, are hereby suspended, and will remain suspended until the expiration of the provisions of paragraph five in In Re: COVID-19 Emergency Procedures in the Florida State Courts, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC20-13 (March 13, 2020), and any orders extending AOSC20-13.

Our vendors can assist in capturing your presuit and litigation needs via smartphone or laptop. Equipment rental services are available as well.

Capabilities of these virtual services include swearing-in, taking testimony, taking screenshots of evidence and documents, the pickup of documents and evidence by the vendor. They can organize exhibits into handy PDF files, hyperlinked, OCR’d and searchable by keyword making them easily accessible from any computer, tablet, or mobile device.

During depositions, files can be synchronized to the transcript, electronic documents can be displayed to witnesses, and mouse movements and keystrokes can be recorded on the computer in realtime.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns at info@roiglawyers.com or call us at 1-855-ROIGLAW (1-855-764-4529).

YOUR LAW FIRM IS HERE FOR YOU!

Filed under Firm News

ROIG LAWYERS REMAINS OPEN AND CAUTIOUS THROUGH THE COVID-19 CRISIS

To our valued clients, partners, & community members:

As COVID-19 continues to affect the global community, we would like to assure you that Roig Lawyers remains fully operational. We are taking preventative measures to ensure the safety of our employees while continuing to provide services without disruption to our clients.

We want to update you on the steps we have taken to ensure business continuity for all our clients as well as the action we are taking to slow the transmission of COVID-19 for the health of our employees, our communities, and society as a whole.

Business Continuity Plan: We have a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan in place to ensure you will continue to have access to the resources and services you require. These plans were developed to cover any contingency that might interrupt day-to-day business, and have been updated to account for new challenges caused by COVID-19.

Remote Workforce: Our attorneys and professional staff are equipped to work remotely, and have been encouraged to do so as a precaution. Effective today, we are ensuring the remainder of our support staff will also be able to work remotely without interruption. This is a normal work practice for Roig Lawyers, and you will see no change in our ability to maintain the level of service you are accustomed to.

Travel Restrictions: We have instructed employees to leverage technology and conduct internal and external meetings virtually as much as possible. We have asked our employees to reschedule all non-essential travel plans and events, and we will continue to update our staff and workspaces with the latest health and wellness practices and tips provided by the United States Center for Disease Control.

Client Guidelines and Expectations: We are continuously updating our Business Continuity Plan according to our clients’ instructions and expectations of their vendors and outside counsel. We are meeting the expectations to minimize business interruption but also protect the health and safety of our employees and our clients.

This is an unprecedented time for everyone, and the situation is changing daily. We are committed to maintaining our business operations and ensuring you continue to receive the highest quality service from us, regardless of our ability to access our offices in this unlikely occurrence.

We are fortunate that we can make these changes with no business disruption. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event and we appreciate the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the front line working to contain this coronavirus. We will continue to actively monitor the situation and share updates as needed. Please stay safe and thank you for your continued trust in us.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns at info@roiglawyers.com or call us at 1-855-ROIGLAW (1-855-764-4529).

Filed under Firm News

Boca Raton Doctor Charged with Insurance Fraud

A Boca Raton osteopathic physician Dr. Max Citrin has been charged with insurance fraud for allegedly copying and pasting false symptoms for his patients. Citrin was charged with three felonies for submitting fraudulent claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and Humana, totaling nearly 1 million dollars.

Click here to read the article. (Subscription may be required).

Filed under Fraud, Healthcare

Nation’s Largest Auto Insurer Sues South Florida Attorney and Two Local Hospitals

Geico claims Boca Raton lawyer Bobbie Celler of Emergency Recovery Inc. and Tenet Healthcare hospitals Delray Medical Center and St. Mary’s Medical Center schemed to bill the insurer for illegitimate claims. According to Geico, Celler, Emergency Recovery and the hospitals intentionally filed large volumes of misleading and confusing insurance claims in order to receive more payouts.

Click here to read the article. (Subscription required.)

Filed under Fraud

Possible Changes to Florida Damages Statute: Florida Statute 768.042 in Personal Injury Cases

Jurys often time struggle with calculating future medical expenses to award or not to award during jury deliberations. Florida law restricts recovery of future medical expenses to those expenses “reasonably certain” to be incurred. [1] At trial, a jury must be offered evidence which reasonably supports that future medical services are reasonably certain to occur. Awarding damages for future medical expenses cannot be grounded on the mere possibility that certain treatment might be obtained in the future. [2]

Further, a jury must be provided evidence that is reasonably certain to allow a jury to determine the amount of those expenses. In proving special [past] medical damages for personal injuries, proof should be offered (1) that the medical services were rendered, (2) what the reasonable charges are therefor, (3) that the services for which they were rendered were necessary, and (4) that they were related to the trauma suffered in the accident. Florida law restricts recovery of future medical expenses to those expenses “reasonably certain” to be incurred. [3] At trial, a jury must be offered evidence which reasonably supports that future medical services are reasonably certain to occur. Awarding damages for future medical expenses cannot be grounded on the mere possibility that certain treatment might be obtained in the future. [4]

Florida Standard Jury Instruction 501.2(b) provides the basis of how a jury is to award damages for medical expenses. Specifically, Florida Standard Jury Instruction 501.2(b) states:

b. Medical expenses:

Care and treatment of claimant:

The reasonable [value] [or] [expense] of [hospitalization and] medical [in nursing] care and treatment necessarily or reasonably obtained by (claimant) in the past [or to be so obtained in the future].

Recently, House Bill 9/Senate Bill 1668 was offered to require certain medical expenses in personal injury claims be based on certain usual & customary amounts received. Should this bill become law, a jury will be allowed to rely upon usual and customary charges as evidence to be utilized as a way to calculate past, present, or future medical expenses. Currently, Florida Statute 768.042 states:

768.042 Damages-

(1) In any action brought in the Circuit Court to recover damages for personal injury or wrongful death, the amount of general damages shall not be stated in the complaint, but the amount of special damages, if any, may be specifically pleaded and the requisite jurisdictional amount established for filing in any court of competent jurisdiction.

However, should House Bill 9/Senate Bill 1668 become law, the following will be added as subsection 2 to Florida Statute 768.042:

(2) In any claim for damages related to personal injury to the claimant, evidence regarding the past, present, or future medical expenses must be based on the usual and customary charges of the community where the medical expenses are or are reasonably probable to be, incurred. With respect to past and present medical expenses, if the claimant is entitled to be reimbursed to any public or private health insurance or governmental health coverage, the amounts paid or payable under the insurance or governmental health coverage shall be presumed to be the usual and customary medical charges, unless the claimant shows that such amounts are inadequate under the circumstances. With respect to damages for future medical expenses, evidence of the availability of private or public health insurance coverage may be considered along with other relevant evidence. Usual and customary charges may not include increased or additional charges based on the outcome of the litigation.

As outlined in the January 28, 2020, Bill Analysis and Fiscal Impact Statement concerning Senate Bill 1668, this bill would require that in any claim for damages for personal injury to a claimant, evidence of past, present, or future medical expenses would have to be based on the usual and customary charges in the community where the medical expenses were incurred.

Currently, jury’s rely upon evidence of past expenses and testimony from experts as to reasonably certain procedures which are alleged needed as evidence of what future medical expenses it should award. This proposed new methodology of calculating future medical expenses is consistent with the current Florida methodology for calculating PIP reimbursement under Florida No-Fault Law, which also requires a determination of costs based on usual and customary charges in the community. This bill would prevent utilization of evidence of cost which had been inflated in anticipation of the jury award that may be larger than the amount insurers are typically willing to pay and larger than amounts healthcare providers typically accept. As a result, this will decrease the opportunity for plaintiffs to present evidence of inflated costs through the use of a letter of protection.

[1]Loftin v. Wilson, 67 So. 2d 185,188 (Fla 1953)

[2] White v. Westlund, 624 So. 2d 185, 188 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993)

[3] Loftin v. Wilson, 67 So. 2d 185,188 (Fla 1953)

[4] White v. Westlund, 624 So. 2d 185, 188 (Fla. 4th DCA 1993). Crowe v. Overland Hauling, Inc., 245 So. 2d 654, 656 (Fla. 4th DCA 1971) (quoting Ratay v. Yu Chen Liu, 260 A. 2d 484, 486 (Pa. Superior, 1969).

Filed under Legislation, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Uncategorized

Tampa Police Detective Under Fire for Alleged Insurance Fraud Scheme

Sergeant Shane Gadoury of the Tampa Police Department was arrested for allegedly insuring his boat after it had already capsized. Gadoury is charged with filing a false and fraudulent insurance claim for knowingly insuring his capsized boat and submitting a claim. The detective has been placed on administrative leave and faces an internal investigation by the police department as well.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Fraud

Four Arrested for Staged Automobile Accident Scheme in Hillsborough County

Following an investigation by the DFS Bureau of Insurance Fraud and the Largo Police Department, four people were arrested for allegedly staging automobile accidents between June of 2016 and April 2019. Aymen Salti, Faiz Salti, Mohammed Salti, and Ayiha Salti were arrested on charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering for staging these accidents in order to file fraudulent insurance claims totaling almost $230,000. They could be facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Fraud, Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Tallahassee Doctor Accused of Billing Insurers for Phony Medical Procedures

Dr. Moses D. Degraft-Johnson of the Heart and Vascular Institute of Northern Florida in Tallahassee is accused of taking $26 million from health insurance agencies for phony medical procedures. According to federal prosecutors, Dr. Degraft-Johnson allegedly went to hospitals, scheduled patients for unnecessary visits, and billed for the services that never occurred. In some cases, the doctor was traveling when he claims to have done procedures in his office.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Fraud, Healthcare

FL Insurance Industry Pushes for Lawsuit Abuse Reform in 2020 Legislative Session

Florida’s insurance industry and consumer advocates are pushing lawmakers to consider reforms that would curb lawsuit abuses that clog the state’s legal system and hurt insurers’ bottom lines. During the last legislative session, lawmakers for passed AOB reform legislation that has led to lower rates for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation policyholders. Governor Ron DeSantis urged Florida lawmakers to target other lawsuit abuses.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Legislation