Bad Lawyers

Ohio Personal Injury Firm Sued for Allegedly Frauding Clients
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Summary: An Ohio-based personal injury firm is being sued by former clients for allegedly defrauding them. 

Some personal injury attorneys have a reputation for being ambulance chasers, but one Ohio firm may have taken that stereotype too far. Or at least that’s according to a recent lawsuit seeking class-action status, filed on behalf of three disgruntled former clients.

  
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According to Cleveand.com, plaintiffs Member Williams, Naomi Wright and Matthew Johnson are accusing personal injury law firm Kisling, Nestico and Redick (KNR) of defrauding clients and having a kickback scheme with chiropractors, an illegal practice in Ohio. The complaint was filed in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.

The plaintiffs said that KNR defrauded clients by charging them for “investigations” that they both didn’t ask for and were not actually completed. Submitted evidence of the fraud includes emails from 10 clients who were charged by an investigator for work supposedly done on the same day. However, the work was performed all over the state, in cities that were 200 miles apart, which raised red flags.

Williams spoke to Cleveland.com in September of 2016 and she said that she was shocked that they charged her $50 for an investigation fee when she was told explicitly there would be no client charges besides the firm’s cut of the winnings.

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“KNR’s promotional material promised prospective clients a free consultation, and promised that if a prospective client could not travel to a KNR office, KNR would come to them,” Williams said in her September paperwork. “Neither KNR’s promotional material nor eventual fee agreement stated or implied that KNR would charge prospective clients a fee for KNR coming to them.”

KNR, which is famous in the Cleveland area for their slogan “Hurt in a car? Call KNR,” seemed to embody the spirit of ambulance chasing. The plaintiffs said that KNR cold-calls people who were recently injured in car accidents with offers to drive them to a chiropractic office. Once at the clinic, the lawyers allegedly coerce people into agreeing to healthcare, whether or not they actually need it, and they are forced to sign attorney agreements on the spot.



While those actions are questionable, the plaintiffs said KNR breaks the law by having a kickback relationship with the doctors. According to the lawsuit, the chiropractors were showered with lavish gifts such as trips to Cancun, Mexico for treating clients, even if they didn’t need care.

Even worse, KNR allegedly introduced clients to a now-shuttered loan company called Liberty Capital that charged interest rates of 49% or more plus fees. KNR’s co-owner Alberto Nestico allegedly emailed KNR’s attorneys to push these outrageous loans on its clients. According to the lawsuit, Liberty Capital was a newly formed company that was operated out of the CEO’s home.

KNR’s attorney Jim Popson of O’Connell Attorneys said that the law firm denies all the charges.

According to KNR’s company website, the firm has 10 offices in Ohio and has won $450 million in verdicts and settlements for its clients. In 2017, Newsweek named the firm a “Premier Law Firm.”

Source: Cleveland.com

What do you think of this case? Let us know in the comments below. 



 

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