Personal injury attorneys are supposed to represent the true claims of injured people in legitimate accidents. However, sometimes people try to commit fraud by faking accidents. The trial of a ring of fraudsters continues with one pleading guilty to his crime of helping to stage semi truck accidents. CDL Life reports Mario Solomon pleaded guilty in federal court for his role in defrauding trucking and insurance companies. The charges stem back to staged accidents that happened in New Orleans in June of 2017. The authorities say that Solomon was a ‘spotter’. He would follow behind the car that would fake a crash in a semi and then act as a witness to the police to give it credibility. He was reportedly paid $1000 for his role in the matter. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Five other co-defendants in the ring have already pleaded guilty to fraud. However, the ringleader is still awaiting trial. The ring was able to obtain $43,000 in settlements before they were caught. We are glad to see that these fraudsters are getting punished. No persona injury lawyer wants to find out that their client was deliberately lying in an attempt to get insurance money.
New Orleans Legal News
A deposition is a statement given under oath that is used in court proceedings. Sometimes an insurance company will ask a claimant to give a deposition, but it’s a good idea to have a lawyer on your side if this happens. But one lawyer went a little too far according to ABA Journal. A U.S. Magistrate Judge sanctioned a lawyer because he interrupted a deposition 145 times and made 106 objections. He now has to pay $1000 dollars and attorney fees and costs. The lawyer was representing a shipping company against an injured deckhand who allegedly fell on the job and hurt himself. Nearly half of the objections were long and rambling, one of which even covered six pages of the transcript. The lawyer also instructed his witness not to answer 16 times despite not having a valid reason. He even accused the other lawyer of committing a crime during the deposition process, though he was unable to say which crime was violated. The judge also said that the lawyer failed to properly prepare his witness before the deposition. The sanctions motion has gone unopposed by the lawyer and by the shipping company. Hopefully, this punishment will teach this lawyer a lesson on proper behavior during a deposition!
If you’ve been out on the roads lately, you’ve probably seen much less traffic than usual. This has led to two unusual announcements involving car insurance. KPEL reports. The first is that the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner has invoked Rule 40. This rule makes it illegal for insurance companies to cancel policies or allow non-renewals. The reason for this is that many people have lost their jobs due to the isolation measures and may not be able to pay their premiums. While Louisianians will need to pay their premiums at some point, your policy will be in place even if you can’t pay until the rule is lifted. Save what you can in the meantime! But as strange as that is, the next announcement is even stranger. Allstate has reported that driving has dropped 35-50% in the last thirty days. Because of this, there have been far fewer payouts from Allstate. You would think that they would keep all that money for themselves, but they plan on issuing hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds to their policyholders. We shall see if other insurance companies follow Allstate’s lead, but the extra money will be welcome relief to anyone who can’t work and holds one of their policies.
With each day that ticks by, we’re all becoming more eager to get back out on the roads. The economy in Louisiana is going to start reopening on the 16th, but New Orleans will be seeing more restrictions for now. The Lens reports. According to Mayor LaToya Cantrell, the city is using the state guidelines as a basis, but the city may take additional steps. On this Friday, the stay at home order will be lifted and certain businesses will be able to reopen at 25% capacity. Restaurants are also part of this order, though high-risk businesses like bars will stay close. However, in New Orleans there might not be much change. While some restrictions will lift, event venues and bars will remain shuttered and social distancing will still be in place. There are also possible mandatory quarantines if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. Until the state releases its final recommendations, many of the state’s stricter measures are up in the air. Tomorrow, the mayor is releasing comprehensive guidelines for determining which businesses are “low-risk” and “medium-risk with modifications”. People will still need to wear face coverings when they are out and about. There is good news though. The efforts to quarantine ourselves have flattened the curve and the number of tests have increased, along with hospital capacity.
A new plan by the New Orleans Police Department to question people about COVID-19 has caught the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union. KEEL reports on the matter. While the Governor has been trying to find a way to reopen the economy after the shutdown, the Mayor of New Orleans wants to increase quarantine measures. The NOPD will be ordered to stop motorists for questioning about their COVID-19 exposure, but the checkpoints will be disguised as seat belt checkpoints. The ACLU says that stops of this kind may be illegal according to the Constitution. From their press release: The ACLU will likely sue the city if they proceed with the plan. So far, there has been no response from the city. We demur from taking one side or the other in this matter, but we do want to let motorists know so they can be prepared if they run into a checkpoint in New Orleans.