Some insurance companies treat their policyholders much worse than second-class citizens. A case in Texas is an example of how some companies operate. A maintenance supervisor who fell with a chain saw while trimming trees at a San Antonio apartment complex six years ago has been awarded $70 million in his lawsuit against the complex’s insurance company. A Texas jury found that Charles Tate suffered mental anguish when Discover Property & Casualty Insurance Company delayed paying him for his rehabilitative job training. The jury also found that the Connecticut-based company, along with JI Specialty Services, which administered claims for Discover, knowingly engaged in an unfair and deceptive act.
On six separate occasions, the Texas Department of Insurance’s workers’ compensation division sided with Tate, who suffered severe neck and shoulder injuries that made manual labor impossible. The agency ruled that he had a right under the law to have the insurance company pay for him to be retrained as a real estate agent, a career he wanted to pursue. Of the verdict, $30 million was for punitive damages. Insurance companies on all too many occasions treat their policyholders badly. They must be made to be fair in their dealings with persons who have valid claims. Thomas Rhodes, a lawyer from San Antonio, represented Mr. Tate and did a very good job.
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