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Lawyer Says $12M Verdict Reasonable (against Progressive Insurance)
The Albuquerque Journal ^ | Sat, Oct 29, 2011 | Jeff Proctor

Posted on 10/29/2011 7:03:01 PM PDT by CedarDave

A Bernalillo County jury’s $12 million judgment this week against Progressive Insurance Co. was “very reasonable,” according to attorneys representing the family who sued.

Lawyer Janet Santillanes said that among the evidence jurors heard during the six-day trial was that Progressive altered its computer records 11 days after a Nov. 4, 2002, accident to make it appear the Vigil family did not have coverage at the time of the single-vehicle crash that was at the center of the case.

The company contended the policy lapsed about 90 minutes before the crash that killed one man and hospitalized five other passengers. Jurors also heard that Colleen Vigil called Progressive twice — two weeks before the crash and the day before — and was assured her policy was valid, with no payment due until Nov. 15, Santillanes said in a telephone interview with the Journal on Thursday.

She said Progressive’s policy is to record all conversations with policyholders, but the recordings of Colleen Vigil’s calls either were lost or never made.

A Bernalillo County District Court jury granted the Vigil family $11.7 million in punitive damages designed to punish Progressive for bad faith, and a few hundred thousand more in compensatory damages and for pain and suffering.

“The jury also heard evidence that Progressive’s profits are $3.8 million a day and (the company) had 11,700,000 policies in effect in 2010,” Santillanes said. “So the amount of damages to a multi-billion dollar corporation for a case that took nine years was very reasonable.”

(Excerpt) Read more at abqjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: New Mexico
KEYWORDS: insurance; progressive; soros
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Progressive's head Peter Lewis donates millions to liberal causes and according to internet info he and George Soros match each others gifts to liberal and left-wing causes.

Progressive Insurance: Cancel your policy!

1 posted on 10/29/2011 7:03:03 PM PDT by CedarDave
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To: LegendHasIt; Rogle; leapfrog0202; Santa Fe_Conservative; DesertDreamer; OneWingedShark; ...

NM list PING! Click on the flag to go to the Free Republic New Mexico message page.

(The NM list is available on my FR homepage for anyone to use. Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from the list. For ABQ Journal articles requiring a subscription, scroll down to the bottom of the page to view the article for free after watching a short video commercial.)

2 posted on 10/29/2011 7:04:30 PM PDT by CedarDave (Sarah's out; need a new tagline...)
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To: CedarDave

hunh. guess redistribution cuts both ways.


3 posted on 10/29/2011 7:05:56 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (...then they came for the guitars, and we kicked their sorry faggot asses into the dust)
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To: CedarDave
He let's everyone he is a PROGRESSIVE

4 posted on 10/29/2011 7:06:15 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: CedarDave

Progressives? $12 million sounds reasonable to me.


5 posted on 10/29/2011 7:06:46 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Stop Government Greed Now!!!!)
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To: CedarDave

Progressive was duckspeak for communists in the early days. Then when that word got too hot, they changed it to liberal. Now they’ve gone back to progressive again.

From what you say about Peter Lewis, it sounds as if the company is suitably named.

Good news.


6 posted on 10/29/2011 7:08:29 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius.)
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To: CedarDave

This is one case where what appears to be a huge excessive verdict is justified.


7 posted on 10/29/2011 7:09:12 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: CedarDave

They are a crappy company, as well. I had a friend and they changed his policy number without telling him. He was sending payments to the old number and they cancelled his policy. They never attempted to contact him by phone, but they did contact the Nevada DMV. DMV revoked his registration and he ended up having to go to court to get it all straightened out.


8 posted on 10/29/2011 7:11:02 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: CedarDave

I seldom finish the month with more than a dollar or two left. If I can contribute ten dollars a month then anyone can. This forum is one of few almost sane harbors in an insane world. Please help pay for our megaphone, put your money where your mouth is.
Respectfully
W.W.SMITH


9 posted on 10/29/2011 7:12:55 PM PDT by W. W. SMITH (Obama is an instrument of enslavement)
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To: CedarDave

Isn’t this in the same area where that woman won the McDonald’s coffee spill suit?


10 posted on 10/29/2011 7:15:30 PM PDT by Loud Mime (Religion involves an ethical life, not just kissing up to the Big Guy.)
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To: CedarDave

How do you think Progressive pays for all the RAT donations?

The article provides the answer.

The judgement should have been a billion.

12 Million for actual damages and the rest punitive.


11 posted on 10/29/2011 7:16:23 PM PDT by tennmountainman
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To: Cicero

What is our economy going to do when the only ones left are lawyer, doctors and insurance company sales men all feeding off one another.


12 posted on 10/29/2011 7:16:32 PM PDT by ully2
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To: CedarDave

Progressive altered its computer records

This statement alone should mean Instant Corporate Death and PRISON for the Executives in Charge. THIS IS FRAUD. If we actually had Equal Protection Under the Laws and a Real JUSTICE System. I for one am sick and damned tired of double standards. I say dissolve company and jail the whole bunch.


13 posted on 10/29/2011 7:17:57 PM PDT by eyeamok
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To: CedarDave

Looks like Flo will have to take a salary cut and buy her own white uniforms!


14 posted on 10/29/2011 7:18:32 PM PDT by NilesJo
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To: CedarDave
I'm not a fan of Progressive, but I'd like to know the full details.

A drunk driver driving with a suspended license lost control of the vehicle at 1:30 a.m. Near the end of the article you discover that in 2005, the first court agreed with Progressive that the policy had expired at midnight, apparently because the premiums on the policy hadn't been paid.

Who calls their insurance company twice in two weeks to find out if their insurance is still in effect? Sounds as if they hadn't paid the premium.

And I wonder if there was evidence that the calls were made, but that there were no Progressive recordings, or whether the (former) policy holder said the calls were made and there were no Progressive recordings.

Remember that the content of this article comes straight from the mouth of the plaintiffs' attorney.

Juries don't always look at facts when granting awards against insurance companies, particularly when somebody's been injured, and when a policy expired only 90 minutes earlier.

And I still hate Progressive. Nothing but a way to donate directly to the Democrat Party by buying insurance. Thanks, Flo.

15 posted on 10/29/2011 7:18:33 PM PDT by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred.)
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To: CedarDave
True. Lewis is notorious. No good American should do business with Progressive.
16 posted on 10/29/2011 7:21:04 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: eyeamok
Progressive altered its computer records

Technically, a plaintiff's attorney said the jury "heard evidence" that Progressive altered its records. That's different. Progressive may well have altered its records. The plaintiff's attorney may also have brought in some bogus computer 'expert' who introduced that 'evidence,' which was contradicted by other evidence.

17 posted on 10/29/2011 7:21:26 PM PDT by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred.)
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To: CedarDave

I hope they and all their limo-rich pals go out of business.

That begins with Government Electric and Government Motors and ends with Government Banksters and Government Unions. They all have their dirty paws in our pockets while pretending to be private industry.


18 posted on 10/29/2011 7:26:15 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: CedarDave

No matter how much the low rates are..I will NEVER sign with “progressive”.

They are Dem supporters. It’s the principle..


19 posted on 10/29/2011 7:28:03 PM PDT by max americana
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To: hinckley buzzard

Amen to that. There’s a reason why the company is called ‘PROGRESSIVE”.


20 posted on 10/29/2011 7:28:49 PM PDT by max americana
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To: max americana

How could they be “cheap”

They seem to spend more on adverts than anybody....


21 posted on 10/29/2011 7:29:29 PM PDT by nascarnation (DEFEAT BARAQ 2012 DEPORT BARAQ 2013)
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To: hinckley buzzard

I hope the fine print on my various insurance policies does not give the insurance company a way to avoid paying. Food for thought.


22 posted on 10/29/2011 7:30:03 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: CedarDave

I would never have bought their insurance anyway - their commercials creep me out,


23 posted on 10/29/2011 7:31:16 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Go Steelers (what's the baseball team called again?))
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To: Scoutmaster

Progressive admitted they record all calls, but ‘lost’ the recording of the plaintiff’s calls.


24 posted on 10/29/2011 7:31:18 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: Scoutmaster

Technically you are correct, but if the Presiding Judge found MERIT in The EVIDENCE ( allowed), as did the JURY presumably, the Judge should have IMMEDIATELY ORDERED A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION at the Moment the Evidence was introduced. The Judge should be removed from the Bench. THEY BELONG IN PRISON.


25 posted on 10/29/2011 7:32:50 PM PDT by eyeamok
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To: Scoutmaster
Who calls their insurance company twice in two weeks to find out if their insurance is still in effect? Sounds as if they hadn't paid the premium.

I did. I prepaid cash for 6 months. And then got a notice from the underwriter's computer geeks that had me living in a place I haven't lived in 12 years, jacking up the premium by $56.

So on the pumpkin day, I called for the 3rd time to make sure they had gotten the certified proof that not only do I live where I live but have for years.

It's called follow-up.

Caveat Emptor.

/johnny

26 posted on 10/29/2011 7:39:11 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (gone Galt)
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To: CedarDave

From my own experience with this company - GOOD!


27 posted on 10/29/2011 7:39:22 PM PDT by AZhardliner
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To: CedarDave

some insurance companies are more decent than others.

The day the Clutter family was murdered in Kansas, Herb Clutter had taken out a large life insurance policy on himself.

The entire family was murdered that night. Clutter’s check had not been deposited and for what ever legal reason, the insurance company had no legal responsibility to pay the claim.

The company, New York Life, went ahead and paid anyway, maybe partly for good publicity and maybe partly because they thought it was the right thing to do.


28 posted on 10/29/2011 7:42:27 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: CedarDave
Flo's not surprised. Image and video hosting by TinyPic
29 posted on 10/29/2011 7:43:52 PM PDT by peggybac
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To: Cicero
Progressive was duckspeak for communists in the early days.

So Roosevelt and the Bullmoose Party were communists?

30 posted on 10/29/2011 7:43:56 PM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts (The meek shall not inherit the Earth)
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To: yarddog

It doesn’t matter if the check had been deposited.

It only only had to be given to the agent or broker, or put in the mail.


31 posted on 10/29/2011 7:44:51 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Overproduction, one of the top five worries of the American Farmer each and every year..)
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To: Loud Mime
"Isn’t this in the same area where that woman won the McDonald’s coffee spill suit?"

It was in New Mexico.

It's really a shame when folks try to trivialize that case.

32 posted on 10/29/2011 7:50:04 PM PDT by moehoward
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

No, just incredibly misguided. TR was a big gov statist.


33 posted on 10/29/2011 7:52:42 PM PDT by Henry Hnyellar
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To: max americana

I know members of the family. I should amend that to *knew*. We no longer speak.

They are not just Dem supporters. They are die hard anti-American far left radical Marxists.

They may be aware of how bad things are, though. One of the nephews is moving half his antique car collection to a safe location out of his present notoriously unsafe urban area of residence.


34 posted on 10/29/2011 7:53:18 PM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: moehoward

What kind of idiot puts a styrofoam cup of hot coffee between their legs in a car?


35 posted on 10/29/2011 7:53:21 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: Balding_Eagle

I am not sure what the technical reason was but the book, “In Cold Blood” made it clear that the insurance company had no legal obligation to pay the claim.

Like you, I would have thought as soon as the agent accepted the check, they would have been covered.


36 posted on 10/29/2011 7:55:58 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: AZhardliner

Agreed. Progressive is one of the most scummy companies on the planet. I had a accident that was clearly their customers fault with gross negligence by said customer that was reinforced by a police report. Progressive tried to pin the fault on me and make my insurer pay. I spent several fuming days on the phone with adjusters from both companies fighting that one. They are the epitome of sleaze.


37 posted on 10/29/2011 7:56:51 PM PDT by CarryaBigStick (My office is an Air Tractor)
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To: CedarDave
One of my grand son's friends bought car insurance and got a dated receipt, he asked when his insurance was in effect and was told, "as soon as you pay". That night at 12:37 A.M., he totaled a $25,000 car. The insurer tried to get out of paying but he and his father went to court, with the receipt in hand and the company was ordered to pay up and pay attorney fees.
38 posted on 10/29/2011 8:06:16 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Of course Obama loves his country but Herman Cain loves mine.)
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To: TigersEye

I don’t know. Maybe an idiot in a car without cup-holders.

Where the 3rd degree burns occur is not the issue. It’s that they happen at all.


39 posted on 10/29/2011 8:07:06 PM PDT by moehoward
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To: CedarDave
Lawyer Janet Santillanes said that among the evidence jurors heard during the six-day trial was that Progressive altered its computer records...

Yet these same insurance companies go after those that commit fraud against them. Most go to jail.

Will ANYBODY from this pathetic excuse of an insurance company go to jail? Doubtful.

They should have been awarded triple the amount they were awarded. BANKRUPT THE BASTARDS I SAY!

40 posted on 10/29/2011 8:09:39 PM PDT by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: peggybac

Flo comes across as a real floozie to me.


41 posted on 10/29/2011 8:16:00 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: yarddog

I was an insurance agent, now a broker.

Life coverage begins when I accept the check on behalf of the insurance company


42 posted on 10/29/2011 8:21:40 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Overproduction, one of the top five worries of the American Farmer each and every year..)
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To: Scoutmaster
A drunk driver driving with a suspended license lost control of the vehicle at 1:30 a.m. Near the end of the article you discover that in 2005, the first court agreed with Progressive that the policy had expired at midnight, apparently because the premiums on the policy hadn't been paid.

The evidence of drunk driving with a suspended license was not allowed to be presented at trial as the case was about whether the policy had expired or not. In dropping charges against Vigil, prosecutors in McKinley County found that road conditions were the cause of the crash. Progressive Tagged For $12 Million

43 posted on 10/29/2011 8:31:29 PM PDT by CedarDave (Sarah's out; need a new tagline...)
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To: unixfox

If you want to try to get some kind of punishment against the company, the place to start is with the state’s insurance commissioner. The one to bring the complaint would be the person whose records were altered.


44 posted on 10/29/2011 8:36:25 PM PDT by Tucker39
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To: moehoward

She was an idiot.


45 posted on 10/29/2011 8:36:39 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: CedarDave

Ping!


46 posted on 10/29/2011 8:40:43 PM PDT by BigCinBigD
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To: moehoward

It’s because of that case and others that we have to see such wildly informative labels warning us that coffee is hot.

As others have said, the woman was an idiot for putting a cup of coffee she could only KNOW was hot in a place that caused her so much pain and suffering. That she didn’t check that the lid was properly in place is her fault alone.

As for progressive insurance, I love Flo, but would never buy their product since everything I have heard about their claims process and attempts at avoiding paying legitimate claims at any cost deters me.

There is a reason that insurance companies have earned a bad name. This case in particular demonstrates how far some will go to avoid their legitimate responsibilities.

When fraud and perjury appear a standard practice, those responsible should be imprisoned and driven out of business.


47 posted on 10/29/2011 8:45:09 PM PDT by Don W (You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.)
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To: CedarDave

No jail? What a shock.


48 posted on 10/29/2011 8:45:48 PM PDT by TwoSwords (Has anyone seen my suspension of disbelief pills?)
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To: CedarDave

Too bad the judgement wasn’t 120 million dollars...


49 posted on 10/29/2011 9:01:19 PM PDT by stockpirate (Why are homosexuals so hetrophobic?)
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To: CedarDave

re: The jury also heard evidence that Progressive’s profits are $3.8 million a day

When do you think the protest crowd will begin to protest the profits of this company? I am not holding my breath.


50 posted on 10/29/2011 9:03:23 PM PDT by Nevadan
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