Feroleto Law, Buffalo NY

I Take It Personally

I take personally, when a person or company tries to keep the truth from the public.  I, as an attorney, was gagged by a trial judge in the case Fordham-Coleman v. National Fuel Gas Distrib. Corp., 42 A.D.3d 106 (4th Dept. 2007).  I represented the family of an elderly woman who froze to death after National Fuel Gas, terminated her gas service, violating various safety regulations.  It was hard for me not to immediately violate the Court’s order and speak out against the Judge.

Courts are open to the public; we have the First Amendment right to free speech and other than family matters, court proceedings are transparent and not secretive. In Fordham- Coleman, the Fourth Department of the New York Appellate Division ultimately struck down the trial court’s gag order, allowing me to speak freely.  The case ultimately resolved favorably for the family.

This is why I write about a friend and injury lawyer from Michigan, Steve Gursten. If you click on his name you will see what happened. He is having his license challenged by a doctor whose conduct he exposed.  Mr. Gursten showed how the doctor testified untruthfully regarding the physical exam of his client.  The doctor has filed a disciplinary grievance against the attorney, seeking sanctions, and is attempting to prevent the attorney from disclosing her testimony.

Consumers have the right to know.  Mr. Gursten exposes a common injustice you may be confronted with in the future.

None of us expect to be in an accident, but most of us or a family member will be at some point.  If you are injured in a car or truck crash you will likely be required to be examined by an insurance company doctor.

Many of these doctors receive huge sums of money from the insurance companies and routinely provide insurance companies opinions that they disagree with your treating physician and you are not injured.  This allows the insurance company to deny payments that you are required to receive under law.

 

*BELOW IS AN EXCERPT OF A TRIAL EXHIBIT OF THE INCOME Of  A DOCTOR WHO FREQUENTLY TESTIFIES FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES.

 

Buffalo, NY Doctor’s Name Redacted

ANNUAL TOTAL INCOME FOR IME-RELATED ACTIVITIES

                                  YEAR                                         TOTAL INCOME

2003:                                              564,993

       2004:                                              576,388

     2005:                                               1,106,243

   2006:                                               1,399,556

   2007:                                               1,250,770

    2008:                                               1,187,088

   2009:                                               934,752

  2010:                                                1,141,293

           Often, the insurance company doctors testify the injured person gave a false or inconsistent history, to suggest the injured person is lying.  The doctors frequently destroy their notes of the discussion, so they cannot be cross examined at trial on what they wrote down, during the insurance exam. Often these opinions are not based in fact, contrary to treating primary physicians, radiologists, neurologists, and orthopedic surgeons.

In New York you pay for “no-fault” coverage.  This is a benefit you pay for with each insurance payment.  In exchange for your premiums, the insurance company agrees to pay your medical bills and lost wages if you are disabled.

Many of the insurance company doctors are frequent fliers in the court system routinely called on to provide testimony that the plaintiff, the person bringing a claim, was not injured.

If you are directed to appear for an insurance company exam, contact your lawyer, or bring a friend, if you don’t have a lawyer.  Have your friend record what is said; take notes of what tests the doctor performs on you, how long the exam takes, etc.  Also, ask your insurance company for a copy of the doctor’s report.  It could be the IME doctor’s income is biasing the “opinion” the doctor willingly gives.