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In the movie Network, television broadcaster Howard Beale unites the nation when he exclaims on air, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” This quote would find favor with Richard Parrillo, Sr., founder and CEO of United Automobile Insurance Company, who recently launched a public relations campaign to expose what he says are plaintiffs’ lawyers who are exploiting Florida’s legal system in regard to personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. Claims’ Eric Gilkey spoke with Parrillo about the problems he sees with PIP in Florida.

Describe a typical PIP scenario you feel is being exploited in Florida. What kind of tactics are plaintiffs’ lawyers employing?

A typical PIP scenario used to consist of a person who was involved in an accident being approached by a “runner,” who had obtained the victim’s information through illegally obtained police reports or from persons working in hospitals who were paid to give out patient information.

The runner would sign up the accident victim for treatment at a particular clinic, or would arrange a visit with a particular attorney (who would then typically refer the victim to a clinic). This was done either through direct payoffs or through promises of payoffs. The accident victim then received $12,000 to $15,000 worth of unnecessary medical treatment, no matter what his injuries were (if any at all), which was then billed to the insurance carrier. The plaintiff lawyer would then use this bogus treatment to build a bodily injury case against the at-fault driver, or to file the PIP suit against the insurance carrier.

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