First Amendment Victory

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Posted by Kay on December 22, 1999 at 23:29:19:

U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan ruled 12-20-99 that portions of the 1994 case Foltz vs. State Farm be opened for public review. Lawyers for State Farm Insurance have tried to keep it secret. Public access to the file will probably help in an inquiry into alleged fraud in the insurance industry lawyers say. Larry Baron, a Portland lawyer for Public Justice, a public interest group based in Washington D.C. sued to have the files opened. He said," This is a huge public records victory. This is a victory for democracy." Foltz's lawyers and others who have sued insurance companies say that the use of outside medical review firms is widespread in the insurance industry and that automatic reductions of claims based on their recommendations is part of a larger pattern of abuse by insurers. As those of us who are trapped in the Workers Comp system, workers comp carriers hire outside medical reviewers i.e. medical examiners, MCO peer review doctors, who are allowed by law to make false allegations against injured workers for the purpose of discrediting the worker in their efforts to avoid providing needed medical services to the worker. With this recent ruling allowing the unsealing of the insurance lawsuit, perhaps a lawyer will be embolden to expose the fraud by workers comps carriers against injured workers. I'm sure many of us would be happy to supply them with evidence.

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