A new report from a Louisiana news outlet indicates that federal authorities are investigating a series of suspicious accidents that may be insurance fraud targeting truckers and their insurance companies.
On October 2, news station WDSU reported that the United States Attorney General’s Office has stayed three lawsuits due to “an on going criminal investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office that may involve this case or witnesses or counsel to this proceeding.”
The report claims that all three suits involved plaintiffs who claim that they were hit by semi trucks on I-10 or I-610 in New Orleans.
WDSU also reports that the Louisiana state insurance commissioner is investigating claims of staged accidents at this time.
It isn’t clear whether from the WDSU report whether the U.S. Attorney General’s Office investigation is related to a high profile case during which a federal judge in New Orleans threw out a lawsuit in April 2019 (at the request of the plaintiffs) against Mississippi trucking company Whitestone Transportation for their alleged involvement in November 2017 crash on I-10. During this crash, a motorist waved down Whitestone truck driver Robert Runnels to tell him that he had caused a crash with their car. Runnels reportedly found no damage to his truck to indicate that he’d been involved in an accident.
The three plaintiffs, Tiffany Turner, Adonte Turner, and Dimitri Frazier, sought $1 million in damages for what they claimed were serious physical injuries.
The legal team representing Whitestone filed a countersuit, claiming that they found evidence of 30 other similar, questionable crashes on I-10 and I-610 that appeared to be targeting truckers. Attorneys for Whitestone wrote, “These similar questionable facts included alleged accidents on Interstate 10 and/or 610 in the New Orleans area where an unknown third vehicle waves down an 18-wheeler driver that is unaware that he or she was allegedly involved in an accident.”
The lawsuit against Whitestone was dismissed with prejudice and may not be reopened.
For more, check out the report below.