Carla and "Sam's" UNUM story - Updated

From judydoc@the-spa.comTue Aug 11 02:16:18 1998
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 20:21:42 -0400
From: judy morris 
Subject: Carla and "Sam's" story - Updated

C.H.- This woman cares for her fiancÚ (who she prefers to refer to
as"Sam" to protect his privacy and because it's too painful for her to
talk about it using his real name) who was brain damaged in a car
accident caused when the garage he went to didn't tighten the lug nuts
on his car tires.  "Sam" had a successful business selling pacemakers
and helping cardiologists install them in the operating room.  His UNUM
disability policy is occupation specific. His benefits would be worth
several million dollars.

This man has been declared a protected person by the his state, must
have someone with him whenever he is awake, has seizures and violent
outbursts.   UNUM initially paid his claim for a year but the the checks
were late 10 out of 12 months.  After a year "Sam" was sent for an
Independent Medical Examination.  His "IME," arranged by UNUM, consisted
of a two week stay at a psychiatric hospital 250 miles from his home.
There personnel had him sign for invasive tests involving needles and
electric shocks (MRI with contrast injection and Nerve Conduction
Tests)  even though he is not legally competent to sign these forms.
His own doctors had already stated he WAS disabled and brain damaged.
Because this facility also handled drug addicts he was subjected to a
"body cavity" search (i.e. a strip search including his rectum).
In his files from UNUM are memos to the doctors to falsify test reports
and put the word "malingering" into their reports. UNUM shared
information with the lawyers from the garage that they are suing.

The IME found that "Sam" DID have the disability he claimed so UNUM
rescinded his contract, claiming he had lied when he stated his income.
He had rounded off the figures.  For the next 12 months, UNUM refused to
pay any benefits. During this time "Sam" and C.H. lost almost everything
including "Sam's" health insurance and most of their possessions in
order to pay bills. Remember taking care of "Sam" is a full time job for
C.H. If she isn't with him she has to find someone else to look after
him.  After a lawsuit was filed UNUM suddenly started paying "Sam's"
benefits again.

One day C.H.'s two dogs didn't come when she called them. When she went
looking for them she found two men in camoflage on her property with
video cameras and guns.  These men broke down a fence and ran into
C.H.'s car with their car when she tried to prevent them from leaving by
using her car to block the access road.  Despite the fact that UNUM's
records show PI reports on her and "Sam" from this day, UNUM claims they
don't know who those men were.  C.H.'s two dogs were never seen again.

"Sam's" lawsuit was filed in 1995 but due to continual delays and legal
maneuvers they have been unable to get into court.   UNUM threatened to
sue for benefits already paid if "Sam" didn't drop the suit.  "Sam's"
policy is NOT covered under ERISA and that means there should be no
problem getting punitive damages, IF they can ever get to court.  The
first law firm handling "Sam's" case wanted them to settle for less than
$500,000 dollars even though Sam's benefits run into the millions.

A nationally known insurance lawyer and author of the book "How
Insurance Companies Settle Claims," Clinton Miller, J.D., has done a
consultation and will testify at "Sam's" trial against UNUM in West
Virginia in October, 1998.   His 25 page report included the following

"UNUM is now in very deep trouble as to their claims practices;
misrepresentation, fabrication, oppression, fraud, malice, extortion
etc.  UNUM does not, based on their despicable conduct to date, have any
reservations about sacrificing ["Sam"] in order to avoid paying ["Sam"]
his full policy benefits."

"by now, the policy holder, ["Sam"], must think that he has the claim
from hell"

"This case is definitely one for the book: How Insurance Companies
Settle Cases, by Clinton E. Miller, JD.  I think that UNUM insurance
company, through their conduct and misconduct has set a new LOW for
insurance litigation cases in the entire United States of America."

He also felt that IF "Sam" and Carla could ever get his case in front
of a jury, they would be awarded no less than $25 Million Dollars in
punitive damages (This is NOT an ERISA case).

They are scheduled, after repeated court dates were rescheduled,
cancelled or delayed, to start trial in Charleston, WV, on October 6,
1998.  They were told by the Court that the date would not be changed
again because this is the OLDEST case on the books.


From judydoc@the-spa.comTue Aug 11 12:34:16 1998
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 05:53:19 -0400
From: judy morris 
To: Flash 
Subject: Re: Carla and "Sam's" story - Updated

> I apparently came in late for the beginning of the Carla & Sam
> story.  If you have the beginning of it stored, perhaps you could
> email it to me and that will make a more complete picture for another
> page.
> My Best,
>      -- Bill

That is the complete story - it's just updated.  There are some minor
details I left out like one of the settlement conferences with UNUM.

After looking at all of "Sam's" abnormal EEG's, MRI's, and other
objective tests, UNUM's thug of a lawyer says "I don't see any evidence
here of brain damage."  Then he thunks himself on the side of the head
and says "Look at me, I've got brain damage too."

And, I don't know if this was the same time or another time but I think
it was the same lawyer.  He was asking "Sam" some questions of a medical
nature.  "Sam," of course, not being all there mentally doesn't
understand what's going on and thinks this man asking him questions is a
one of his doctors.  So "Sam" points to a scar on his neck, from a
previous surgery, and asks this lawyer "Are you the one who did this?"
To which UNUM's lawyer thug replies "NOT YET!"
Carla and her lawyer were aghast as they interpreted this comment to
mean that UNUM hadn't cut "Sam's" throat yet.  Their lawyer told UNUM's
lawyer, "one more comment like that and this session is over."

I may not be relating exactly as it happened but based on what Carla
told me, you can get the gist of it.

How much of this do we have to endure while the damn reporters are
claiming we don't have any PROOF of anything?


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Created: August 13, 1998
Last Updated: May 28, 2000