A Queensland magistrate has fined a now liquidated firm $1 million in the nation’s first successful prosecution under so-called ‘claim farming’ laws.
Brisbane Magistrate Peter Saggers yesterday convicted Accident Management Solutions Pty Ltd (AMS) with 94 counts of receiving consideration for claim referrals or potential claim referrals.
The Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) this afternoon released a brief statement confirming it had successfully prosecuted AMS – saying it took “decisive action to protect Queenslanders from claim farmers’ aggressive tactics and breaches of privacy”.
Claim farming, also known as ‘claims management services’, involves third-party agents cold-calling people in a bid to coerce them into making personal injury claims – usually as a result of workplace injuries or car crashes.
“In May 2022, MAIC charged Accident Management Solutions Pty Ltd with 94 counts of receiving consideration for claim referrals or potential claim referrals, and a single count of contravening an information requirement,” the statement says.
“On 7 February 2023 all charges were finalised (by Mr Saggers). His Honour convicted the defendant of all charges.
“(AMI) was fined a total of $1 million for the 94 claim farming offences, and $5000 for the offence of contravening an information requirement. All convictions were recorded.”
AMS entered liquidation in June 2022.
Prior to their 2019 legislative reform, over 1.5 million Queenslanders had been contacted by claim farmers who used threatening tactics to obtain personal information and sell it for a profit.
The MAIC statement continues: “Since introducing changes to the CTP insurance scheme legislation on 5 December 2019, MAIC has closely monitored and investigated reports of claim farming.
“(MAIC) took decisive action to protect Queenslanders from claim farmers’ aggressive tactics and breaches of privacy.
“MAIC’s first successful prosecution is an important step in our ongoing enforcement. We continue to work tirelessly to deter claim farming and preserve the integrity of Queensland’s CTP insurance scheme.”