Delay Deny Defend: Why insurance companies don’t pay claims and what you can do about it.

We were honored to be contacted by the good folks at the Penguin Group’s Portfolio Publishing a week or so back. They inquired if we’d be interested in reviewing a new book by Jay M Feinman on the insurance claims process titled Delay Deny Defend. Professor Feinman is a Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law who shares an interest in how insurers handle their claims with your (mostly) humble moderators here at Slabbed. According to the book’s website, “Feinman is a well-known expert on contract law, tort law, insurance law, and legal education. His scholarly work, including more than fifty scholarly articles, has been widely cited in the academic literature and by courts, including the United States Supreme Court.”

Lets begin with the accompanying press release:

Over the last two decades, insurance has become less of a safety net and more of a spider’s web: sticky and complicated, designed to ensnare as much as to aid.

Author and insurance expert Jay Feinman explores how these trends developed, how the government ought to fix the system and what the rest of us can do to protect ourselves.

In the book Dr Feinman chronicles many of the systemic abuses of policyholders many of which we have covered through time here. A few of the more interesting points Dr Feinman makes:

  • Auto insurance company spies who infiltrate church support groups to prove accident victims faked injuries.
  • Claims Adjusters who receive cash incentives to reduce the amount paid out on each claim.
  • Katrina claims adjusters receiving their 2 day training at a Burger King before being given a ladder and notebook computer.

Of course it was his chapter on Hurricane Katrina that immediately drew my interest. Before I share the contents of the chapter I’d like to take a second to highlight what is not is in it.  First off there are no fanciful Grand Unified Theories that attempt to tie the policyholder cases to Dick Continue reading “Delay Deny Defend: Why insurance companies don’t pay claims and what you can do about it.”

Cracking heads and cracking jokes – an update on Young v Scruggs

Plaintiffs next argue (apparently not in jest) that Richard Scruggs is “a Federal prisoner avoiding service of process.” It is not clear if Plaintiffs are suggesting that Scruggs decided to enter prison to avoid their service of process or that he is somehow able to move around within the prison system to avoid service of process. Either way, Plaintiffs’ argument is ludicrous. There is no evidence that Richard Scruggs is avoiding service. Instead, Plaintiffs have failed to follow the plain language of the applicable rules in completing service on him.

Arguments that once offered “food for thought” on the appropriate application of RICO are all about “service” now – law a la carte to the point that I’m uncertain if this is  an update or a menu. Service of process,  a  fly-in-the-soup issue in the Scruggs defendants Rebuttal in support of their Motion to Dismiss,  merited later mention chiefly because of a recent, related MSSC decision.

Plaintiffs in Young v Scruggs seemed to turn the table when they subsequently filed a Motion to Deem Service Sufficient and asked for a default judgment or extension of time to serve process: Continue reading “Cracking heads and cracking jokes – an update on Young v Scruggs”