March 18, 2008 — Chiropractors in four states — Texas, Ohio, Indiana, and Alabama — are being sued in a federal fraud lawsuit filed by Allstate Insurance Company. The lawsuit names 66 defendants and alleges that deception and coercion were used against people involved in automobile accidents at clinics in the named states.
Allstate filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas against Chiropractic Strategies Group Inc., (CSG) its owner Michael Kent Plambeck, related law office management companies, attorneys, telemarketers, and others involved in the alleged fraud scheme. It seeks in excess of $10 million for violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
According to the insurer’s complaint, CSG allegedly solicits persons who have been involved in motor-vehicle accidents through telemarketing, which includes calls from a telemarketing entity the organization operates in Kenner, Louisiana. The telemarketers promise the prospective patients a free examination.
The complaint also alleges that, once at the clinic, the solicited individuals are often coerced and deceived into treatment through a process the organization calls “conversion.” Potential patients are allegedly told they have sustained substantial injuries and require an immediate course of treatment.
The complaint further alleges patients are then put through a standardized and unnecessary treatment plan. Once a solicited individual is “converted” into a patient, they are referred to a personal-injury law office associated with the organization. The complaint alleges persons working at these law offices often come directly to the clinics to “sign up” patients as clients.
A number of individuals as well as business entities are named in the lawsuit. The businesses are Chiropractic Strategies Group Inc., Media Placement Services Inc., Professional Management Group LLC, Law Office Network LLC and associated clinics in Texas, Ohio, Indiana, and Alabama.
Source: Allstate Corp., www.allstate.com