The Speech I wanted to Give to the Court (but chickened out)


If I have time later this week I also want to reprint here UNUM and Pat
Peard's opposition to my Order to Show Cause why they shouldn't have to
pay me while we're fighting it out in court.  It's pretty funny,
including her quotations from Alice in Wonderland.

Here's the speech I had prepared for the Court.  Also included are some
excerpts from letters written by attorneys about their experiences with
UNUM.

Morris v. UNUM ^÷ Speech to the Court ^÷ February 19, 1999

I^“ll start out with a quote from John Wayne ^”Courage is being scared to
death ^÷ and saddling up anyway.^‘

First I wish to thank your honor for scheduling this hearing so soon. I
know you have had an awful lot to read and digest in the last 3 months
since I filed this lawsuit. Second, I read your bio. in a listing of
Federal Judges and was very glad to see that you have for years taken
great interest in health care issues.  This speech should take about 20
Minutes. Please give me the courtesy of not allowing interruptions.

I need to apologize in advance.  Despite the fact that I have taken
tranquilizers prior to coming her, I can^“t guarantee that I can maintain
control of my emotions if the attorneys for the defendants start
attacking me with slanderous, defamatory or untrue statements and I am
not allowed to defend myself.  Part of my disease does indeed involve
emotional lability, which means that under situations where normal
people might be able to control themselves, I might lose it.  This of
course, is not a good trait to have in my profession.

However I would also like to remind the court that the entire basis of
UNUM^“s case is that, because I was treated for supposed mental illness
(reactive depression) that they can claim now and forever that every
problem I have in the future is somehow due to this.  Their motivation
is patently clear from the mental illness limitations in most of the
policies they write, the fact that their new policies limit benefits for
CFS-like diseases to two years, and the conflicts of interest that I
have documented, even without the benefits of the discovery process,
plus a pattern that numerous of UNUM^“s other victims can attest to.
If time remains after this speech I will read you some of their
comments.  I hesitate and will refuse to mention names unless I can get
an iron clad assurance from the court that these people will be
protected from retaliation by UNUM or anyone else for contacting me.
They are witnesses to crimes of extortion, fraud, practicing medicine
without a license and racketeering, among other things.

I^“m not going to try to argue all these Motions point by point in 20
minutes.  I^“m going to re-iterate my conclusions and some of my
evidence, which is extensively elaborated in my written pleadings, which
provides much more than a scintilla of evidence that my RICO charges
should go forward against all the defendants.  In the interests of
judicial economy, fair play and substantial justice, this court should
grant ancillary and pendant jurisdiction for all actions and defendants
since they arise from the same common nexus, the same common nucleus of
operative facts ^÷ a criminal pattern of selling insurance policies and
then wrongfully denying them when a claim is made.  This court is
centrally located for all defendants and convenient for the me, since I
would have great difficulty if I was forced to do a lot of driving and
traveling in limited time periods and more than likely it would cause my
health, which is tenuous at best, to deteriorate.

First of all, UNUM, despite their motto claiming ^”We See Farther^‘
refuses to accept what modern medicine and science is rapidly
accepting.  Between our ears is not some kind of nebulous black box, but
an organ, the brain, made up of atoms, cells, molecules, chemicals and
hormones just like the rest of the body.  Even many ^”traditional^‘ mental
illnesses, (as attested to in Dorsk v. UNUM) are now known or suspected
of being caused by documentable PHYSICAL abnormalities or this organ.
If the area of the body that malfunctions is the heart, kidneys, or
lungs ^÷ you have a physical disease.  If the part that malfunctions is
the brain ^÷ why is that somehow some kind of vaporous, nebulous ^”mental^‘
disease, as if there is no physical matter between your ears.  Many, in
fact most, diseases cause mental or emotional symptoms through direct or
indirect chemical or hormonal actions on the brain. And the usual
reaction to chronic illness is depression.  By UNUM^“s definition, anyone
who gets depressed about their illness, no matter what it is, is
disabled by mental illness.  This is absurd logic and unacceptable in
the modern world.

Now that assumes that they were not also engaging in all of the other
deceits, lies, delays and tricks that seem to be their standard claims
handling practices. If they were going to diagnose me as mental anyway,
why the extensive credit checks, a background check on my father and my
doctors, surveillance, sham attempts to gather information which was
then ignored, attempts to influence my doctors and then attempts to get
her to sign false statements.  Are they to be rewarded for this?  They
started looking into my credit as soon as they got my claim form.  What
was the justification?  Why am I not entitled to the same information on
each of them?

I feel like all I did was submit insurance claim forms, forms that I
checked with multiple people to be sure were not illegal, exaggerated or
fraudulent.  I won^“t reread the policy definition because it^“s in the
written material. I checked with a disability attorney, my insurance
broker, my employer and my doctors.  I extensively read all the
information I could get my hands on to make sure I was suffering from
CFS and not a mental illness.  If any of these people had given me any
doubt about the validity of my claim, I might have thought twice about
filing it.  UNUM does not have any special knowledge of medicine than
all of these people and these people of course, knew the integrity of
the person filing the claim as well.  UNUM only has special REASONS to
not want to pay this valid claim on pretextual grounds and a system of
harassment and deception set up to increase my stress and MAKE me doubt
my sanity.  They made me feel like I had done something wrong but
refused to tell me what.  They offered to answer my questions but when I
asked them all I got was confusing double talk and deceptions.  They
apologize for upsetting me but they knew exactly what they were doing,
almost seeming to relish in it.  They have made me file a lawsuit
against them to PROVE I^“m INNOCENT and not faking.  But if they think
I^“m so guilty why don^“t they file criminal charges against me and get it
over with.

In the two years since I filed my claims with UNUM, I have gone from
being a very trusting, sincere, helpful person, to suspicious, anxious,
paranoid and scared as a result of their actions.  If they consider me
difficult and litigious it is because they made sure I would have to sue
them.  When they sold me this insurance, I wasn^“t accused of being
financially motivated or greedy or insuring my income.  Why am I now
considered greedy and guilty after filing a claim, a claim many other
disinterested (and  even their own agents) think I have a perfect right
to.  They set up this Catch 22.  They refuse to discuss the issue.  They
only want me to settle for less (far less) than they promised when they
were and still are reaping record profits from selling these insurance
policies.

And I just want you to imagine, for a second, your honor, that you are a
woman, who is trying to be as forthright and honest as possible and
suddenly finds herself followed, chased, stalked, and videotaped by
nameless, faceless people that don^“t even have the decency to sign their
surveillance reports.  And yet UNUM refuses to tell me what crime I have
committed or even what I am suspected of.  And I have no idea if it is
continuing now.  I^“ve been living like this since February 1997 when
they first admitted they MIGHT have me followed. They knew at that time
that I was already being followed.  If you listen to these tapes, you
will hear UNUM^“s field investigator Steve Harris, try to confuse and
deceive me by stating that he, personally, wasn^“t following me, when I
had actually been followed to that very interview.

What was done to me by these people is doubly infuriating because I am a
medical doctor and they used medical doctors to betray me, including
unlicensed ones.  They are making a mockery out of the doctor-patient
relationship, medical science, misdiagnosing people for personal gain,
interfering in relationships between patients and their own doctors, and
basically deciding that despite the research and medically accepted
opinions of much of the academic community and the two leading research
institutes in the country, that they, an insurance company that does NO
MEDICAL RESEARCH, can make up their own definitions, their own ways of
testing for diseases and disabilities in any way they like, just because
they say so.  They act like they have the right to ignore bodies of
medical evidence, literature and research, the opinions of learned
scholars and years of medical documentation and make up whatever they
want with NO research or justification to back it up.  They finally had
to admit I have CFS.  UNUM has given me NO instances of similarly
situated claimant who failed at trial to have their benefits awarded
whereas I have presented them and you with a plethora of case law
favorable to my case. That UNUM can ignore established case law is fraud
in itself.  The most recent teaching materials from the National
Institutes of Health state clearly ^”It is important for people with CFS
to slow the pace of their lives, and avoid or reduce their exposure to
situations that are physically or psychologically stressful.^‘  It is
obvious that continuing work as an ER physician even part time is
contra-indicated and hazardous to my health.  CASE CLOSED.  PAY THE
CLAIMS.

The public policy implications of this case are overwhelming.  Basically
do insurance companies have the right to deny treatment and benefits to
sick and disabled people UNTIL the claimant can prove, at great expense
through a trial they are not the liars, frauds, fakes, mentally ill
cheats who have plotted with their doctors to defraud poor insurance
companies. Are we going to protect these powerful corrupt organizations,
or are we going to protect the rights of the sick and disabled to get
what they reasonably expect, what anyone would reasonably expect from
the wording of these policies and the promises made by these companies.
If you side with them, then the whole idea of insurance is a sham, and
we might as well use our premium dollars to buy toilet paper.  Or as one
insurance agent I spoke to last year described disability insurance to
me (knowing then what I know now) ^÷ He said all Disability Insurance is
like a used toilet paper parachute ^÷ Guaranteed to fail you at the worst
possible moment when you need it the most.

As to my conspiracy theory involving all the rest of the defendants.
What I am alleging is not unique, nor unproven.  Workmans^“ Compensation
victims have been victimized by insurance companies since the 1970^“s.
Kathleen O^“Donnell of the Massachusetts Trial Attorneys Association
tried to get the AG to investigate in 1993.  She was told to investigate
herself.  Meanwhile I have introduced the Ellis and Ellis brief about
the collusion between the Insurance Fraud Bureau and the Attorney
General^“s office.  A high ranking ethical employee of the Massachusetts
Department of Insurance ^÷ Steve D^“Amato, has demanded the replacement of
Linda Ruthardt. Even the tainted AG^“s office has been forced to question
her ethics.  The kind of rampant criminal behavior, fraud, deceit,
extortion, intimidation and medical malpractice being engaged in my
insurance companies could ONLY be continuing because of the collusion of
the regulatory agencies and our own government.

Although I have indeed filed a large lawsuit with a large number of
defendants, and despite their protests, they don^“t really seem to have
had any trouble figuring out what I was accusing them of.  Although I
may have been able to condense my lawsuit somewhat, I didn't have the
luxury of time for endless rewrites.  But if you force me to rewrite the
complaint I just want to remind you of Home Health Inc. v Prudential
Insurance Company, No. 95-3974, 8th Cir., Missouri, 1996, where the
appeals court ruled that the plaintiff was given a ^”Hobson^“s Choice^‘
that a subsequent amendment of the complaint^Ň..does not render [the
original issue, in this case removal] moot, if the amendment was ordered
by the district court or was otherwise involuntary.^‘  In other words,
even if you force me to spend a lot of time rewriting my complaint, the
original issues will still stand because the rewriting was ordered and
not voluntary.  Your honor, forcing me to rewrite this complaint will
only result in needless delays and expenses without clarifying or
eliminating any issues.

Your honor, this company is operating like mobsters.  And like career
criminals, they refuse to police themselves.  The government and
regulators refuse to police them.  They will only stop this behavior if
forced to by the courts.  Please allow me the chance to try.

Here's the rest of the message to the court:
Quotes

From a Canadian disability case Warrington v. The Great West Life
Assurance Company, 1996
Damages should be recoverable ^”when the subject matter of the
contract^Ň.is to provide peace of mind or freedom from distress.^‘
^”parties to a contract of disability insurance should be taken to have
contemplated as an important benefit, and indeed a purpose, of their
contract the ^—peace of mind^“ implicit in the insured^“s receipt ot timely
and reliable benefit payments in substitution for his or her wages.^“
^”Few contracts could affect one^“s personal interest more than a contract
for medical or rehabilitation bnefits.  In my judgment, both insured and
insurer would contemplate that a failure of the insurer to pay medical
or rehabilitation accounts in a timely fashion will foreseeably occasion
mental distress and emotional upset.  The predominant, if not the sole
objective of the contract was to provide ease of mind to the insured
that his medical accounts would be taken care of by timely payments.^‘
^”His illness was one that is likely exacerbated by stress.  It seems to
me that this is exactly the type of mental distress and inconvenience
one buys disability insurance to avoid^Ň^Ň..in other words, that the
object of this contract was Mr. Warrington^“s peace of mind. I cannot
accept that by paing ^—what was owed^“ to Mr. Warrington just before
trial, Great-West made him whole in any sense of the word.^‘

Judge Meschke, Ingalls v. Paul Revere, 1997, Supreme court N.D. upheld a
punitive damages award of $2.5 Million dollars, after Paul Revere
rescinded his contract after he filed a claim, and then threatened to
sue him if he contracted a lawyer and pursued the claim.^‘  Also ^”an
insurer^“s bad faith breach of its duties to an insured is like to cause
mental anguish^Ňit is inconceivable that a layman, unaccustomed ot the
courtroom and fearful of the entire judicial system, who is also
subjected to financial pressures from a refusal of the insurer to
discharge it^“s commitments, will not be subjected to stress^Ň^‘ Quoting
State Farm Fire & Cas. Co v sigman, 508 NW 2d 323, 326 (N>D>)1993
ordinarily ^”an ^—insured pays premiums to receive protection, not a
lawsuit from its insurer.^‘  Although UNUM hasn^“t yet sued me, they did
threaten to ^”take legal action^‘ against me for broadcasting my
experiences on the Internet, attempting to intimidate me into silence,
and with all their wealth, power, and connections, especially with the
AG^“s office and the IFB, I continually expect them to try to have me
arrested on some trumped up charge.

>From Introduction Civil Procedure in a Nutshell
^”it is important to keep in mind the purpose underlying the development
of the civil procedure rules and doctrine ^÷ to provide a just,
efficient, and economical means by which parties can resolve their
disputes. Not always will this purpose be met and, indeed, some of the
existing procedures have been used by attorneys to thwart this goal.^‘

>From How Insurance Company^“s Settle Claims by Clinton Miller, JD
Q:^”How can I set up an insurance company for bad faith?^‘
Ans: YOU CAN^“T. The only way an insurance company can be ^”set up^‘ for
bad faith is if they do it to themselves.  Only the insurer has the
power to settle claims promptly.^‘
Q: ^”How do I prove an insurer^“s bad faith?^‘
A: Documentation! Documentation, documentation! That is a paper trail
must be reasonably established.^‘

>From Sarah Clausen v. Standard Insurance ^÷ CV No. 96-K-1676, Apr. 1997,
Senior District Judge Kane ^”According to the surveillance report, which
reads like an episode of ^”Dragnet,^‘  the investigators ^”arrived in the
area of the subject^“s residence^‘ at 6:40 am ^”and established a position
of observation to the south and west of the subject^“s
residence^‘^Ň..^‘Standard^“s reliance on the private investigators^“ report
to suggest Clausen is a malingerer whose statements cannot be trusted is
grossly exaggerated and unsupported by substantial evidence in the
record.^‘

Comments from Claimants and attorneys who have dealt with UNUM:
1.  ^”The reasons I had my benefits terminated:
     I was able to buy a van.
     I have an office in my basement
     I signed a contract to work even though I didn^“t actually work.
But still I am able to sign my name.
     I own and operate a business.

The last reason is a real laugher.  I pay rent on a building to store
some inventory because I can^“t fun the business.  I am too disabled to
take the steps to sell the inventory so I continue to lose money.  In a
one year period I went to the building to sweep up and check on things
about five or six times and never for more than an hour or two.^‘

2. ^”UNUM told me that most of their terminally ill clientele go back to
work.^‘

3.  ^”They sent private investigators to my house. They had a camera
pointed at my house. They told my neighbors they were officially
investigating a baby-selling scheme.^‘

4.  ^”UNUM pioneered this ^—disability management^“ strategy within its
home office by having employees make harassing phone calls to colleagues
who were  on legitimate sick leave recuperating from serious health
problems and pressuring them to return to work before being released by
their docs.^‘

5. ^”Perhaps if they harass me enough and make me totally stressed out
about my possible loss of income, then perhaps I will get a mental
illness.  They are a self-fulfilling prophecy!^‘

6.  ^”There is no doubt in my mind and that of my doctors that UNUM^“s
attitude has had a negative impact on my illness and lengthened my
recovery.  It seems to me they use the same script for all of our claims
in the US as well as in Canada.^‘

7.  ^”UNUM contributed to the loss of my life^“s savings but at least I
still have a roof over my head.^‘

8.  ^”That^“s the mistake I made.  I went along over the 24 months not
believing that they would stick with the mental illness limitation.
The, BANG!!  I got cut off and had to spend the next 8 months without
any money coming in while I drug them into court.^‘

9.  ^”If UNUM paid my benefits over the course of my disability it would
amount to $180,000.  Even using a present value formula, the $15,000
they offered is ludicrous.^‘

10.  From a denial letter to a claimant who qualified for SSD but was
refused LTD by UNUM ^”please be advised that our determination of
liability is made independently from the Social Security
Administration.  The findings of the Social Security Administration are
not conclusive on the issues of whether, or when, an insured may have
become disabled or whether an insured remains disabled for the purposes
of their UNUM coverage.^‘  However, of course they do not say why this
person failed to meet UNUM^“s criteria, whatever they are.

11.  Attorney letter ^”UNUM handled this claim as if they thought it was
governed under ERISA.  Not until just prior to my involvement does UNUM
realize that this case is covered under an individual policy.
Nevertheless, UNUM^“s attorneys filed a Motion to Remove to federal court
based on ERISA.  Once I filed my Opposition, UNUM immediately agreed to
go to state court and asked for mediation, without benefit of
discovery.^‘

12.  Judith Fogel^“s attorney ^”UNUM found to violate California Unfair
Businesses Act.  UNUM found in bad faith, offers ^”low-ball^“ buy-back of
policies.  Fifteen month claims investigation (!), demands for tax
returns, emotional distress inflicted.  Defendants appealed verdict."

13.  Attorney ^÷ In my one case, UNUM waited well over a year and a half
from receipt of my client^“s claim before they formally denied her.^‘


14.  Attorney- ^”UNUM^“s professional practices are solely designed to
deny any and all benefits that come to it as demonstrated by this
case^Ň^Ň^Ň. UNUM made no effort to verify plaintiff^“s injuries, but instead
built up a case to deny disability benefits.  Benefits were denied
before any relevant information was obtained by UNUM.  UNUM has hired
Private Investigators who have trespassed, eavesdropped, caused physical
damage to plaintiff^“s property and other atrocities^Ň..this includes
hundreds of hours of videotape which have been severely edited for
benefit of UNUM^Ň^Ň..UNUM required plaintiff to undergo a 14 day confined
stay in a Pittsburgh hospital, which was several hundred miles from
plaintiff^“s home, whereupon a finding of closed head injury was made.
However, UNUM did not like the report and sent the doctor a letter,
which plaintiff^“s counsel has in its possession of, which instructs the
doctor to change his report to say that the plaintiff is a malingerer.
Defendant^“s doctor complied.^‘

15.  Attorney ^÷ ^”Terms of the settlement (reached at mediation) require
confidentiality.  However the motivation for settlement on the part of
the plaintiff was largely due to the expected delays to be caused by
protracted litigation in Federal Court.^‘

16.  Attorney ^÷ ^”They mediated the case 1 month before trial and UNUM
flew in their house counsel and representative.  They paid a lump-sum of
about 60 cents on the dollar.^‘

17.  Attorney - ^”With one exception, all of the settlements contain
confidentiality provision (in one case the plaintiff died of his illness
shortly after the suit was filed and ---after some struggle ---I think I
was able to convince UNUM that he was unlikely to talk to anyone about
the settlement even without a confidentiality agreement.^‘

*18.  Attorney ^÷ I have dealt with UNUM for many years.  Initially, UNUM
referred claims to my office for me to assist their insured be found
^—disabled^“ by SSA, so they could take the offset^Ň^Ň..More recently I have
branched my practice into these LTD claims, largely as a response to the
LTD industry^“s trend of disability management and no longer referring
claims for Social Security representation.  Now that I no longer receive
these referrals, I do not have to worry about ^—biting the hand that
feeds me.^“  I have argued about fifteen LTD cases against UNUM, as well
as correspond with a few of my UNUM friends who will still speak to me.
Some of my UNUM friends now treat me as a leper. UNUM^“s claims practices
have clearly deteriorated and they can be quite evil and nasty.^‘

19.  Attorney ^”In our case, we are also exploring the development of
UNUM^“s practice of having their in-house medical expert contact the
treating physicians and then misstate the substance of these
conversations in internal memos^Ň.from my discussions with Lee Hoffman in
Phoenix, this seems to be a standard practice of UNUM^“s to deny the
benefits and send out a representative to feel out the claimant for a
buy-out.^‘

20.  From UNUM^“s 1994 Annual Report ^”1994 was the most challenging year
UNUM Corporation has faced since demutualizing in 1986, and the most
disappointing year for earnings since 1987^Ň^ŇOur results in 1994 were
impacted in large part by an acceleration of claims, both in volume and
complexity, across our disability lines^Ň^Ň^ŇWe also implemented and
strengthened risk management programs to address unfavorable claims
trends ^Ň.Special units have also been established to address complex and
fraudulent claims.^‘

21.  Attorney ^÷ ^”in the past three years I have handled approximately
nine cases versus UNUM or companies which they control.  Out of these
nine cases, seven have been resolved with confidentiality provisions in
the settlement agreement.^‘  ^”While I have a copy of the claims manual of
UNUM, I am not permitted to share this information.^‘

22.  Attorney ^÷ ^”The crux of this case was that UNUM reps told plaintiff
that she need only work through May 31, 1995 to receive benefits.  In
reliance plaintiff began disability leave June 1.  Application for
benefits was eventually denied based on UNUM^“s claim that plaintiff
should have worked through June 1st. (Note: This case involved a woman
pregnant with twins who was ordered to strict bedrest by her doctor.  In
reliance upon what UNUM said she worked two weeks LONGER than her doctor
advised.  The babies had problems, and of course she got jerked around
by UNUM and eventually denied because she hadn^“t worked THROUGH June
1st.)

23.  One Colorado claimant states he distinctly remembers UNUM^“s
attorney telling the judge ^”it^“s not in the best interest of UNUM to
only be concerned for the welfare of one individual where we need to be
interested in the welfare of the company as a whole.^‘

24.  ^”Despite the fact that all of my doctors state that I am unable to
work, UNUM states that their VR people believe that I can.  They have
never examined me or even seen me for that matter, and refuse to believe
documentation from my doctors as well as studies done in the
hospital^Ň..In my opinion, this insurance company is a total rip-off.
They do not want to pay claims. They often do not return my phone calls
or furnish information I have requested in a written letter to them.
When they denied my long-term disability, I received a phone call
stating that I could not appeal their decision until I got a letter of
denial in the mail.  I did not receive the letter until late July.  They
stated that the letter was mailed June 3, 1998.^‘

25.  Letter from claimant to UNUM ^”What does concern me is putting a
stop to the endless and often irresponsible questions.^‘  In
correspondence to me ^”I also got a copy of the type of questions that
they were asking my doctors and they showed no understanding of medicine
at all.^‘

26.  ^”my mother has been denied further benefits from UNUM^Ň^Ň^ŇUNUM is
trying to settle with her for some small amount that only corresponds to
six months of payments.  Before this they kept on giving her the run
around and also kept on changing the claims people.^‘

27. ^”UNUM saves money just betting I^“m too sick to follow up^Ň^Ň..The very
worst they can say about me is that I wrote an eight page appeal,
therefore I must be able to work! They mention this over and over. It
took me two months to collect my thoughts and write them out.  An
employer would love to hire me with that quality and quantity of work,
right?^‘ ^”My UNUM claims handler said to me ^—Well, we agree that you have
CFS, but we^“re denying you anyway.^“ No amount of medical documentation
is going to be good enough for them, they are saying I^“m not disabled.^‘
^”Insurance companies.  Better off buying stock in one than a policy from
one.^‘

28.  ^”relying only on its surveillance tape secretly taken while I was
shopping and running errands, UNUM tried to intimidate me into a
settlement by telling me they had been ^—watching me.^“ Since this didn^“t
work, UNUM discontinued my benefits without any medical support.^‘

29.  ^”my mother is a former attorney who has recently had her disability
benefits denied^Ň^Ň.I am a Family Practitioner and have reviewed, even
accompanied her on visits, her medical documents.  By all accounts, she
is disabled.  But of course, no surprise to you, UNUM sees it
differently^Ň^Ň..Small tidbits from my mother^“s case^Ň..They hired several
different PI^“s to follow her over several years.  This includes videoing
her in from my parents^“ home in the disguise of street workers, at my
sister^“s wedding and rehearsal dinner.^‘

30.  ^”when ordered to be examined by their independent doctor (the
oxymoron has not gone unnoticed), UNUM selected a doctor at a 2 hour
distance from me.  I protested, claiming it was unreasonable and upon
their insistence that they could not find a board certified expert
closer (yeah, right), I went at their expense.  UNUM paid over $900 to
chauffeur me to this particular doctor.  When they scheduled the
appointment 12 noon to 3 pm, I complained that that gave me no time for
lunch or a break for 7 hours (because of the 2 hour drive each way.)
UNUM said pack a bag lunch and eat it in the car on the way down;
because if you don^“t show we cut off your benefit.^‘

31.  ^”I too am a victim of UNUM^“s lets send them to a doctor who says
that you JUST have fibro and the very best thing for your would to go
back to work.  BINGO^Ň.no more UNUM payment!!!^‘

32.  ^”I was turned down twice for disability benefits for fibromyalgia
in 1997 and finally gave up due to frustration.  I was fired from the
job that provided the ^—coverage^“ with UNUM because of my illness.^‘

33.  I had a 6 month battle with the company and finally had to threaten
a lawsuit^Ň..I did write to the West Virginia State Insurance
Commissioner and I believe this is what got my approval.  I did initiate
a lawsuit for mental stress and whatever else I could think of.  My
lawyer said since they paid me, I didn^“t have a case.  I still wish I
could do something.^‘

34.  ^”I won^“t bother telling you all the mental, emotional suffering
they are causing me---no doubt you^“ve already experienced firsthand the
sleazy tactics used by UNUM rep^“s^Ň^Ň..I feel like I^“m dealing with
racketeersl^‘  (This person is an ex-police officer.)

35.  ^”So much is familiar there^Ň.the switching you from one office to
another with no notification^Ňthe offer to settle for extremely limited
dollars with all of the tax consequences being mine, the late and
delayed and lost checks.^‘

35.  ^”I lost my home, most of my antiques and lived in my car for a
year.^‘

36.  ^”I was a pediatric dentist^Ň.. until an ulnar nerve injury made it
impossible 4 years ago to ever practice clinical dentistry again.  In
the ensuing 4 years, I, like you, have been harassed, deceived, lied to,
cheated, stolen from, followed, etc^Ň.I have lost career, financial
stability, partner, home, dogs^Ň..everything.^‘

37.  ^”They never answered my letters or returned any phone calls.  It
destroyed me both financially and mentally.  I felt beaten.  Then I came
upon your info on the web.  It renewed my anger at what the cancellation
of my benefits caused to happen in my life.  My marriage ended, I lost
my home, I lost the only income I had.^‘


In November, Ron Diamond, an Arizona dentist was awarded $58 Million
dollars in punitive damages by a jury after his insurance company,
General American, engaged in a secretive multibillion dollar scheme to
defraud policyholders out of their benefits by:

-the company developed a program to cut its losses, including a ^”hit
list^‘
-it target policyholders like Diamond who had more than $100,000 in
benefit reserves
-sending policyholders to one doctor after another in hopes of finding
one who would diagnose them as cured
-increasing paperwork requirements that if not completed would result in
canceled benefits
-offering buyouts that amounted to a fraction of the amount
policyholders had in their benefit reserves
-sending investigators to snoop on policyholders to determine whether
they were financially vulnerable and, if so, stopping payment of monthly
claims, forcing policyholder into a position where they felt they had to
take the buyout offers

>From All-American Holocaust by Iris B, recounting her experiences with
the corrupt Alaska Workman^“s compensation system during the late 1970^“s
and early 1980^“s and how the situation remains the same today.  She
finally got her book written in 1995.
^”thanks to the American Insurance industry for being so blatant about
their actions that anyone can see the truth.  All incidents and
characters are intended to portray real people and incidents.  Most
names and places have been changed to protect the innocent and the
intimidated^Ň.Unfortunately, this also protects the guilty.^‘ [For a copy
of this book, you can write to: Windigo Press, PO Box 10975, Fairbanks,
AK 99710-0974.  The ISBN No. is
0-0645353-5-1.  If anyone like reporters or expose shows wishes to talk
with Iris B.  Please contact me.]

UNJUST TREATMENT: ^”Independent Medical Examinations & Workers^“
Compensation in New York State^‘  A Special report Prepared by The New
York State AFL-CIO
and The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, 1998
^”With millions of dollars in profit at stake, insurance carriers:
-challenge valid occupational disease claims, which results in workers
often failing to pursue their cases or eventually settling for less than
they are entitled to;
- claim that many workers are less disabled than they are or that they
are not disabled at all;
- raise issues contradicting workers^“ claims that their injuries and
illnesses are a result of work

As a consequence, injured and sick workers are often forced into
prolonged wrangling with insurance companies in an attempt to get their
claims established. The process is so tortured, convoluted and demeaning
that many workers do not file for compensation or become so discouraged
that they fail to pursue their valid claims.  Rather than attempt to use
the workers^“ compensation system, many workers use their own health
insurance ^÷ if they have any ^÷ to get needed medical treatment.  Many
others rely on welfare and social security.







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at: bhammel AT graham DOT main DOT nc DOT us


The URL for this document is:
http://graham.main.nc.us/~bhammel/INS/DOCS/D022499.html
Created: March 3, 1999
Last Updated: May 28, 2000