Insurance commissioner slaps attorneys with $2 million in fines
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) -This week, the Louisiana insurance commissioner issued $2 million in fines against a Texas-based law firm for a fraud scheme against hurricane victims.
The firm of McClenny Moseley & Associates was accused of receiving and negotiating insurance settlement checks without the policyholder’s authority to do so.
In the days just before the deadline to sue over Hurricane Laura insurance claims, the firm, also known as MMA, engaged in the mass filing of lawsuits on behalf of clients whose names were provided by a legal marketing program through a company called Velawcity.
The clients included Melvin Addison and his wife Adriana. Melvin said he never met with the firm or authorized them to represent him. He couldn’t.
“I was in the hospital on morphine and stuff. They said I docu-signed. There’s no way you can docu-sign on a flip phone, and I was like, dude there’s no way I could do it. Then I found out they forged the lien holder’s name on there too,” he said.
Addison, who stayed behind during the hurricane, was injured and contracted a severe bacterial infection that caused him to lose his leg and teeth.
“I was infected with flesh-eating bacteria and had to be sent to New Orleans and be treated. While I was there, I wound up losing my right leg, part of my left foot and my teeth,” said Melvin.
He says he has no idea how the MMA law firm came to represent him and found it emotional and stressful.
“To have somebody use your identity and get money from you. I felt violated to be honest with you. I didn’t even know who they were,” said Addison.
MMA also soon found itself in hot water with Federal Judge James Cain of the Western District of Louisiana who suspended the firm from practicing in his court. Part of the concerns was that the firm was mass-settling claims without communicating with clients.
This week, the insurance commissioner issued fines against MMA for unfair practices and insurance fraud involving at least 850 Louisiana homeowners. Though getting their money was delayed due to MMA’s involvement, local attorney Tom Filo has helped the Addisons move past it.
“We’re getting a three-bedroom, one bath home from project build a future which is really great people,” said Melvin.
The Addisons look forward to soon moving into their new home and seeing MMA held accountable.
We attempted to contact the McClenny, Moseley and associates in Houston but have not heard back. The attorneys who appeared in federal court here are no longer listed on the firm web site.
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