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Lawyer pays dearly for auto insurance claim


The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Disciplinary Board hit the brakes on a suburban Pittsburgh lawyer’s license to practice after he filed an auto insurance claim following a speedway-racing mishap, claiming he had instead swerved to miss a deer.

Ryan Breen, who practices in Ross, Pennsylvania, was racing his personal vehicle at the Pittsburgh International Racing Complex in 2017 when he crashed into a guardrail, reported this week.

The next day, according to documents accessed by the news outlet, Mr. Breen filed a claim with his insurance company claiming he struck a guardrail to avoid hitting a deer while on the way to his girlfriend’s house with a pizza.

The insurer paid $21,299 for the damage to the vehicle, but a subsequent investigation by the company revealed the information about the crash at the track, according to the news report.

Mr. Breen was charged with insurance fraud in 2019 and was accepted into an accelerated rehabilitative disposition program. He is now required to complete two years’ probation, pay full restitution of $8,453.93 to the insurance company — after the company sold his vehicle — and a $5,000 civil penalty, and serve 50 hours of community service, in addition to the one-year suspension of his law license.

The disciplinary board found that Mr. Green violated the state’s Rules of Professional Conduct by committing a criminal act that “reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects,” according to the report.