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Florida Grand Jury Blasts Doctors/Lawyers for Ambulance Chasing

By Editorial Staff

On Sept. 6, a grand jury in Florida issued a 25-page report urging tougher laws to halt what it considers the bilking of the auto insurance industry in the state. The state's no-fault coverage mandates auto insurers to pay up to $10,000 in medical bills or payments for missed time from work for anyone in an auto accident. The grand jury asserts in its report that a "number of greedy and unscrupulous legal and medical professionals have turned that $10,000 coverage into their personal slush fund."

Chiropractors were among those doctors blasted by the grand jury for using "runners," people paid by some unscrupulous doctors to obtain accident reports from police stations. The grand jury recommended changing the state law to prohibit the release of accident reports to anyone other than the victim, the insurance company, and news organizations.

The grand jury dubbed the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine (yes, that is the state board's official name) lax in pursuing violators, noting that the board only disciplines "five or six chiropractors for solicitation in a year," which it called "an insignificant slap on the wrist." "A single chiropractor can boost his gross income several hundred thousand dollars a year by using runners," the grand jury wrote.

The executive director of the Florida Chiropractic Association, Debbie Brown, said the association has taken a strong stance against solicitation, and that the "vast majority" of DCs would not participate in any illegal activity.

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