Do you suppose that before Citizens CEO John Wortman went whining to the Legislature he gave so much as a thought to solving his problem by paying claims with the time period required by state law? The Shreveport Times has the story under the misleading headline, Citizens wants to discourage class actions.
Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will push for a new law protecting it from being penalized for paying claims too slowly.
Now, headline aside, that’s the story. However, you can’t blame the misleading headline on the reporter when Citizens general counsel, Suzanne Dondeville, intentionally provided the misleading spin.
Such a law could remove a major incentive for class-action lawsuits, such as the ones that were filed against the property insurer of last resort following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Last year, a state district judge in Gretna ordered Citizens to pay $92.8 million to 15,573 policyholders whose Katrina claims were not adjusted within the time period required by state law.
The current law calls for a penalty of $5,000 per claim. Citizens general counsel, Suzanne Dondeville, told the insurer’s governing board Thursday that eliminating the penalty would mean lower fees for plaintiff attorneys, giving them less reason to file class actions.
No, no, no Ms. Dondeville, if you want to “lower fees for plaintiff attorneys”, just follow the law. Works every time. Continue reading “Louisiana Citizens CEO John Wortman has “no class””