Baratta, Russell, & Baratta (“BRB”) would like to thank our clients, friends, and family for the many referrals made to us over the past 23 years. We are continually and eternally grateful for your trust. A referral from a client, colleague, friend or neighbor is the lifeblood of our business. Here are some of the highlights of 2020.
INJURY INSURANCE BAD FAITH
Automobile and worker’s compensation insurance carriers are constantly scheming to avoid paying for the medical care needed by people injured in accidents. Insurers target doctors who treat injury patients with false accusations of “fraud” which are designed to undermine the doctor’s credibility and, in turn, the true value of their patients’ injury claims. It is a multi-billion-dollar racket for companies like State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, and Liberty Mutual.
Over the past 20 years BRB has established a national practice exposing these allegations for the scam that they are. In the process, we have recovered and saved for doctors across the country tens of millions of dollars owed to them for the treatment of injured patients and ensured the continued availability of quality healthcare to people confronted with the devastating impact of an automobile or work injury.
In a first-of-its-kind lawsuit filed in February of 2020, we sued State Farm in the Southern District of Florida federal court on behalf of a doctor whose practice State Farm was threatening with an accusation of “predetermined treatment” and a demand of potentially millions of dollars in damages. Rather than give in to State Farm’s demands, we sought a Declaratory Judgment that State Farm’s entire premise was without basis in science or fact; a declaration which would not only protect our client but also effectively shield injury doctors across the country from accusations of “fraud” based on alleged “patterns” in their past records.
State Farm attempted and failed multiple times to have our case dismissed. Ultimately, State Farm surrendered by submitting a formal declaration to the Court that it would not make such an accusation against our client. We are now pursuing the same declaration in defense of claims brought by State Farm against doctors in Maryland and Delaware.
In 2020 BRB was retained by orthopedic surgeons, radiologists, family physicians, physiatrists, chiropractors, physical therapists, and MRI centers in new matters against insurers in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Rhode Island, Texas, Kentucky, and California. At their core, each of these cases involves an insurer inventing or threatening an accusation of “Fraud” based on alleged “Patterns” in a doctor’s past treatment of injured patients and demanding the payment of millions of dollars from the doctor.
Our Injury Insurance Bad Faith team is led by Andrew P. Baratta, who is most often brought in as pro hac vice counsel through a medical provider’s local attorney.
OUR PRO-BONO & CHARITABLE WORK
The entire BRB family feels very lucky to have the ability to help others.
In 2020 we continued to focus our energy in helping Laurel House, Philadelphia VIP, The Brain Injury Association of PA, and St. Joseph’s Manor Nursing Home.
In response to the Coronavirus Pandemic the Estate team instituted a program for any friend, client or stranger, to receive a key estate planning document – an Advance Directive for Healthcare. As we wrote: “…we are not doctors, first responders, grocers, makers of N95 masks, researchers or pharmaceutical firms – we are lawyers.” Every person who responded received an updated ADHC.
We believe it is part of our greater purpose to help others in our communities. We are looking forward to continuing these efforts in 2021.