Personal-injury law firm Hupy and Abraham is suing a marketing company for allegedly overpromising how many leads it could provide to the firm and overcharging for the leads it did provide.
The firm filed a federal lawsuit against Quintessa Marketing on Wednesday. Quintessa markets legal representation to plaintiffs involved in car crashes, screens and qualifies them and signs them up.
According to the complaint, the director of business operations at Qunitessa promised that the company could provide more than 100 leads a month with “proper funding” from the firm. Hupy and Quintessa entered in February into a contract containing provisions that allowed Hupy to turn down plaintiffs for various reasons. They could be rejected, for instance, if their cases involved property damage of less than $1,500 and plaintiffs who were being cited at fault.
The complaint said Hupy pre-funded its marketing account with $100,000 and agreed to pay the defendant $1,600 for each qualifying motor vehicle accident retainer and $4,500 for each qualifying commercial motor vehicle accident retainer.
By April, the firm wasn’t happy with the quality of clients or the contract, and it gave notice not to renew. Quintessa deceptively represented how many plaintiffs it could refer to the firm, the complaint said, because the firm only received 146 plaintiff referrals over three months. Of those retainers, the firm considered only 46 qualified under the contract provisions.
“(I)t became apparent to the Plaintiff that the Defendant was not fulfilling its contractual duties of screening “plaintiffs” to confirm they met the minimum criteria enumerated in the contract before signing them to Plaintiff s contingency fee contract,” the complaint said.
The complaint said Quintessa is still holding $54,300 of the firm’s money, and the firm believes it has lost about $54,500 by paying for 27 defendants who didn’t qualify under the contract.
The firm is asking for compensatory damages no less than $100,000, punitive damages, rescission of the contract due to material misrepresentation, an award of costs and attorneys’ fees and an award of any such other relief deemed just and proper.
Hupy filed a motion for emergency injunction on Thursday asking the court to block Quintessa from doing any further marketing work for the firm and charging for it. An email from Quintessa’s founder dated May 5 said the company would continue to operate within the signed agreement, despite the pending lawsuit.
Todd R. Korb, shareholder at Hupy and Abraham’s Milwaukee office, is representing the firm in the lawsuit. Court records currently don’t list an attorney for Quintessa.Follow @WLJReporter