Consumer Federation of the Southeast Calls on State and Federal Authorities to Investigate Allegations of Insurance Fraud at the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation
Contact: Ryan Banfill, (850) 222-1996
Consumer Federation of the Southeast Calls on State and Federal Authorities to Investigate
Allegations of Insurance Fraud at the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation
Allstate Insurance Made Allegations in Federal Lawsuit Filed Friday
TALLAHASSEE – The Consumer Federation of the Southeast, today called on federal and state authorities in Florida, Michigan and Connecticut to investigate allegations of insurance fraud brought against the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation (FINR) by Allstate Insurance Company. The call for an investigation comes after the insurer filed a federal lawsuit against FINR seeking $7.6 million in damages it suffered as a result of an alleged insurance fraud scheme, as well as triple damages under federal racketeering laws.
“Allstate’s federal lawsuit contains explosive accusations of a ‘culture of abuse and violence’ at FINR. The dark specter of alleged insurance fraud that has arisen raises troubling questions that need to be fully examined,” said Walter Dartland, executive director of the Consumer Federation of the Southeast, whose advocacy for FINR patients began following an alarming Bloomberg News report detailing alleged instances of abuse and neglect at FINR.
In the federal lawsuit, Allstate Insurance Co. v. Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation Inc. and Joseph Brennick, 8:12-cv-01935-JDW-MAP, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Tampa), Allstate accuses defendants of:
- Violating the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act;
- Common law fraud;
- Payment under mistake of fact;
- Unjust enrichment; and
- Breach of contract.
In the suit, Allstate alleges FINR conducted an insurance fraud “scheme” causing Allstate to pay fraudulent claims for unnecessary medical services given to Allstate customers insured under Michigan automobile insurance policies. The insurance company’s allegations come on the heels of last week’s shocking findings of the State of Florida’s probe of FINR that the facility is treating ineligible patients.
Dartland, who serves as a board member of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, called on the Florida Attorney General, Statewide Prosecutor, Chief Financial Officer and Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud, as well as the appropriate investigative and regulatory arms of the states of Michigan and Connecticut (who recently removed some of its patients from the FINR facility) and the federal government to step in quickly and take appropriate action.
“While we must ensure taxpayer dollars and consumer insurance premiums are being defended, protecting the well-being of FINR’s patients is the top priority. Families of FINR patients need to have confidence their loved ones are being treated in a safe, secure place that follows all the rules,” Dartland said. “These grave new assertions from Allstate deserve the full attention of authorities at the state and federal levels.”
As part of an effort to increase public awareness of the issue, Dartland invited concerned individuals to join the Protect People with Brain Injuries Facebook community set up at: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectPeopleWithBrainInjuries.
The Consumer Federation of the Southeast is a not-for-profit consumer advocacy group founded in 2003 and dedicated to consumer advocacy in the Southeastern United States.
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