LRANY Applauds Senate for Passing Legislation to Curb “Ambulance Chasing”

By: Scott Hobson

The New York State Senate has passed legislation, sponsored by Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R, Rockville Centre), which increases penalties for hiring or acting as a “runner” to procure clients, patients, or customers. A runner is defined as a person hired by a professional, typically a lawyer or doctor, to solicit services.

Typically, runners approach injured victims immediately following an accident and attempt to persuade them to take legal action or seek medical services. In New York, soliciting a client or patient within 30 days of an accident – “ambulance chasing” – is illegal. Attorneys who violate this law may be subject to censure or suspension. However, the practice of using runners remains far too common, especially in New York City. This legislation will reduce the use of runners by imposing serious criminal penalties for violations.

The practice of using runners, strongly condemned by the State Bar Association and professional organizations across the state, has impacts beyond the clear ethical issues. Most legal or medical fraud schemes require a large volume of clients that are recruited using runners. This raises the cost of medical insurance, which impacts every New Yorker.

LRANY applauds the Senate for taking leadership on this important issue, and urges the Assembly to follow suit.



One comment

  1. Public Adjusters should be also restricted from ambulance chasing fires i/e/ insurance losses or having their bird dogs (runners) that chase the board ups push them into the loss especially when the person who has suffered such a travesty is in duress. This goes for the fire chiefs, and members of the ladder crews too that do the same thing for favors from the Public Adjusters. It is considered normal practice to deliver TV’s or purchase tickets for fire house relate events in turn for being directed into loses.

    — By Frank on March 23, 2012

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