• May 17, 2012

There are many non-English speakers among us from Central and South America some of whom come to this country without much of an understanding of our legal system.  Enter: Linea Latina de Accidentes, which sends out information throughout the metropolitan Spanish-speaking community and beyond with wholesome civic gatherings such as  “Babe Night” at El Nuevo Rodeo where young women in pajamas and bikinis ride a mechanical bull (see Exhibit B, attached).

What better way to get the word to the Latin community about the legal rights of accident victims!  Linea Latina would appear to pave the way from crash to cash.

Maybe this is an example of what one trial lawyer once taught me is called “deep marketing,” where one does not market to an individual who is named in a lawsuit, or even to someone who is particularly likely to ever be in a lawsuit.  But maybe the audience that shows up for “Babe Night” will hold on to the Linea Latina de Accidentes name, website, or phone number long enough to pass it on to a friend, co-worker, or family member who has been in a car accident.

Note, though, that I did not say, “who has been injured in a car accident.”   That would be beside the point according to the allegations of Allstate Insurance Company and other plaintiffs who have sued Linea Latina and a handful of other related individuals and entities.  No injuries necessary, the plaintiffs’ claim, in order for Linea Latina to funnel folks to  chiropractors who bill for services not provided and then to lawyers (these or these, according to the complaint), for compensation for non-existent injuries or for accidents caused by the victims themselves.

It would seem that defendants have responded to the complaint against them in 2009 with outrage, seeking sanctions against the plaintiffs (a motion filed under seal), but it is quite clear from the order this week of U.S. District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen (D. Minn.) that she does not share defendants’ outrage.

To the contrary, Judge Ericksen’s rulings on a handful of pending motions, including motions for sanctions by both sides, were all denials.  It seems that this case is headed toward a “trial ready” date of June 1, 2012.

It may be up to a jury as to whether Linea Latina de Accidentes and the other defendants offer a legitimate service to the Latino community or, rather, perversely distort the proper function of our civil justice system’s adjudication of accident claims.

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