By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that her office has reached a settlement with 411-PAIN. The settlement requires 411-PAIN to pay $550,000 and change its advertising practices for allegedly making misrepresentations to consumers. 411-PAIN is a Florida-based attorney and chiropractic referral service.
Lawyer Referral Service Allegedly Misrepresented Consumer Entitlements.
The Attorney General pursued action against 411-PAIN for the company's alleged violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Chapter 501, Part II, Florida Statutes. To view Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, click here.
Allegedly, the company misrepresented that consumers could be entitled to $100,000 or more for injuries and lost wages as a result of accidents. The company also allegedly misrepresented that consumers could be entitled to more than $10,000 in personal injury protection compensation or benefits for injuries and lost wages. The alleged misrepresentations were made through the company's advertising.
Additionally, 411-PAIN was accused of falsely stating that police officers require consumers to call 411-PAIN after calling emergency services following an auto accident. This was allegedly conveyed through the company's advertisements which used actors dressed as police officers. The advertisements allegedly did not feature a disclosure that the individuals in the commercials were actors and not actual law enforcement officers.
411-PAIN Allegedly Misrepresented Attorney Services.
411-Pain also allegedly misrepresented attorney services to consumers. The company is accused of stating that consumers would be referred to a "qualified" attorney or "specialized" attorney who specializes in the type of injury or accident they sustained, when no such attorney specialization exists in Florida.
Settlement Restricts the Company's Advertising.
The settlement reached by the state in Broward Circuit Court prohibits 411-PAIN from
• Promising any monetary compensation in its ads;
• Saying it's referring victims to a "specialized attorney;"
• Using images of law enforcement officers to suggest that officials are directing consumers to use 411-Pain after calling 911, unless the officer is labeled as a "paid actor."
To view the full settlement, click here.
Cohen, Bryan. "Florida AG Settles with 411-PAIN." Legal Newsline. (June 5, 2012). From:
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
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