Legal 'HMO' Fights Off Suits

One of the largest legal services benefits companies in the U.S. will soon learn what it's like to be a defendant facing a jury.

In October, the first of dozens of suits filed in at least three states against Pre-Paid Legal Services (PPLS) will go to trial in Mississippi.

Plaintiffs allege that PPLS-which claims on its Web site to offer "Legal Service Plans to provide access to justice for middle-income individuals and families"-made promises it didn't and couldn't possibly keep.

The suits allege that a trained sales force used fraudulent sales practices to promise broad coverage for about $20 a month-entitling members to "equal justice under the law"-but instead what they got were contracts full of exclusions. Mealy v. Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc., No. 02-0082, Wilkinson Co., Miss., Cir. Ct.

Details here from the National Law Journal.