The 1-800-411-PAIN Referral service is a network of chiropractors and lawyers that solicits clients who have been injured in car accidents. In October, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the Broward-based company, alleging that it has misled customers into using its services. According to the suit, the company uses commercials and other marketing tools to recruit clients, then funnels their $10,000 in car-insurance benefits to doctors and personal injury lawyers in the network.
411-PAIN's lawyer has denied all the allegations against the company and calls the lawsuit "frivolous."(Read this week's New Times cover story for an in-depth look at the company).
So who are the attorneys involved in this business? About 100 lawyers will be part of the network by the end of this year, says Ellen Schulman, a PR consultant for the company. An initial, 19-person list was sent to the Florida Bar for approval last summer.
In June, the bar sent 411-PAIN a letter noting that all the lawyers on the initial list were
"members in good standing" and had "no public disciplinary history,"
with the exception of two people: Hialeah attorney Alexis Izquierdo and
Andy Treusch in Orlando.
Izquierdo pleaded guilty to a felony in 2000 for bribing Miami-Dade County claims examiners. He was sentenced to five years' probation and was suspended from practicing law for 18 months.
Treusch was publicly reprimanded by the bar in 2006 for sending misleading mailers to prospective clients who had received traffic tickets. The ads claimed, among other things, that customers could get "Traffic Ticket Defense From $6.95."
Schulman dismisses these blots on the attorneys' records, saying, "If the bar says they're currently members in good standing, then they can stay on the referral list."