Former KNR clients seek to institute civil RICO claims against the law firm and associated doctors and chiropractors alleging organized scheme to overcharge for services

This morning, four former clients of the law firm Kisling Nestico & Redick (“KNR”), in their pending lawsuit against the firm, filed a motion seeking to institute claims under Ohio’s civil RICO statute, the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act (R.C. 2923.34), against the firm and a number of its associated doctors who are alleged to have organized a fraudulent scheme to overcharge the clients for legal and healthcare services.

The motion is based on recently discovered evidence that, as Plaintiffs allege, shows that the firm uses a high-volume, high-advertising business model to systematically take advantage of its clients by directing them to treat with the firm’s “preferred” healthcare providers who require the clients to unwittingly waive their own health-insurance benefits and then charge the clients exorbitant rates for fraudulent care—including medically contraindicated “trigger-point injections”—allowing the firm to inflate its attorneys’ fees with a minimum of effort.

Defendant Sam Ghoubrial, M.D., who effectively functioned as the KNR law firm’s in-house doctor, travelled across the state in a private plane that he co-owned with KNR’s owner and managing partner Rob Nestico to visit affiliated chiropractors offices where he would administer fraudulent trigger-point injections to masses of the firm’s clients. These injections are not only medically unnecessary but actually contraindicated for injuries resulting from auto accidents. The clients, who were coerced by these lawyers and providers into unwittingly waiving their own health-insurance benefits, were nevertheless serially administered the injections, and overcharged for them from their personal injury settlements at rates up to 20 times what their health insurers would have paid.

Ghoubrial—who has treated thousands of KNR clients as a side job in addition to running “the largest primary care practice in Wadsworth”—has alone collected nearly eight-million dollars from KNR client settlements since approximately 2010.

The associated chiropractors, who profit from the scheme by assisting KNR in directing the clients to waive their insurance benefits and accept Ghoubrial’s fraudulent treatment, include Dr. Minas Floros of Akron Square Chiropractic in Akron, Ohio, Drs. Nazreen Khan and Stephen Rendek of Town & Country Chiropractic in Columbus, Philip Tassi of the Canton Injury Center in Canton, Eric Cawley of the Cleveland Injury Center/Detroit Shoreway Chiropractic in Cleveland, and Dr. Patrice Lee-Seyon at Toledo Spine and Rehab in Toledo.

The Plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint to add these chiropractor Defendants, the civil RICO claims, and additional fraud-based claims to conform with recently discovered evidence is available here. The Plaintiffs’ motion for class-action certification filed last week, containing a full account of the evidence of the fraudulent scheme at issue, is available here. A copy of the exhibits referenced in the motion for class-certification—including deposition testimony, internal KNR communications, and affidavits from former KNR clients, KNR attorneys, and five expert witnesses whose testimony supports Plaintiffs’ claims—is available here.

The case, captioned Member Williams et al., v. Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC, et al., is currently pending in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2016-CV-09-3928, with Judge James A. Brogan presiding. The Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Peter Pattakos and Rachel Hazelet of the Pattakos Law Firm in Fairlawn, Ohio, and Joshua Cohen and Ellen Kramer of Cohen Rosenthal & Kramer in Cleveland.