Representing Clients Throughout California
No-Cost Consultations

Call or fill out the form below for a
no-cost consultation.

  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • Please enter a message.
    Please select an option.
Client Focused. Court Room Ready.

Garamendi Rejects UnumProvident Deal

Los Angeles Times, December 21, 2004 California

By Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer

California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi said Tuesday that a settlement requiring UnumProvident Corp. to reopen 215,000 closed and denied disability insurance claims was a bad deal for policyholders in the state. Although at least 40 states have agreed to the deal with the nation's top disability insurer, Garamendi said he rejected it because "there are significant shortcomings." Garamendi said he was pursuing a separate deal on behalf of California policyholders. The multi-state settlement requires UnumProvident and some subsidiaries to notify affected policyholders within 15 days that claims denied or closed since Jan. 1, 2000, can be reassessed. The settlement provides for a $145-million fine if the company fails to meet the terms. It also fines Unum $15 million. Ray Bourhis, a San Francisco lawyer who has won several multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements against Unum for individual policyholders, cheered Garamendi for rejecting what he called "one of the worst settlements I've seen in 30 years of litigation . a slap on the wrist." Bourhis said the settlement was flawed in a number of ways. One problem, he said, was that it put Unum in charge of reassessing denied claims without third-party oversight. In addition, he said, it allowed for only denied claims to be reopened. "They don't have to reopen underpaid claims, so all of those people who got 20 cents on the dollar and went away or else they'd be bankrupt don't have a remedy," Bourhis said. UnumProvident could not be reached for comment. The investigation began last year after customer complaints. Although Garamendi and his Montana counterpart chose not to approve the deal, individual policyholders are not affected by those decisions and could receive notice that they are eligible to have claims reexamined. California Insurance Department officials said policyholders who receive notice of the multi-state settlement should respond within the time indicated. Garamendi said he was seeking better terms than the settlement provided. "California policyholders will have at least [what the multi-state settlement provides] and, when we finish, they will have a whole lot more," Garamendi said. UnumProvident insures more than 25 million people.

For a free consultation, call (818) 886-2525 or email gkantor@kantorlaw.net.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Free Case Consultations Provided
  • 160+ Years' Collective Experience
  • Thousands Of Cases Successfully Handled
  • You Don't Pay Us Unless We Recover Your Claim
  • Selected For Inclusion In The List Of Super Lawyers®

Client Testimonials

  • Your compassion for me and my situation is very much appreciated.

    “My thanks to you for pursuing my case with vigor. I don't know much about how these legal things are handled, but I could tell by your communications with me, making sure I was always informed, that you were on top of it all. Also, you were ALWAYS available to me to answer questions, and your compassion for me and my situation is very much appreciated. I have had limited exposure to the legal system and attorneys, but I have never been able to just call and talk to them, as I could with you. I always had to speak with someone in the office that couldn't really answer my questions.”

    D.B.

  • I've already mentioned your firm to my family and friends and how wonderful you have been treating me.

    “I've already mentioned your firm to my family and friends and how wonderful you have been treating me. Hopefully I will not ever have the need to refer someone to you because that would mean they would be in a similar situation as myself. But, if that were to ever happen, I would absolutely refer them to your company.”

    Linda P.

  • We will never forget the good you have done and may you continue to earn gold stars.

    “More than your skilled expertise, uncompromising professionalism and breadth of experience, we have been immensely impressed with the sincerity, generosity and integrity with which you conducted our affairs, acted on our behalf and guided us through the sometimes confusing process. Throughout, we developed a great respect for all of you and it is our wish that both collectively and individually, you experience continued professional success and personal gratification in all that you pursue. We will never forget the good you have done and may you continue to earn gold stars.”

    Lalida C.

  • the arguments you made on our behalf at the mediation resulted in a more positive outcome for our case than we could have otherwise expected.

    “We appreciate that you found merit in our case, and that you were both willing and able to be present at the mediation. We believe that the arguments you made in our favor to the mediator were able to influence the outcome towards resolution that we could feel satisfied with. In the end, we believe that your counsel, your support, and the arguments you made on our behalf at the mediation resulted in a more positive outcome for our case than we could have otherwise expected. Throughout you were always professional, but direct and clearly firm on our position. We thank you for your efforts to resolve our dispute to our satisfaction, and wish you continued success.”

    Mara T.

  • You have restored my faith in the goodness of people!

    “Thank you Glenn for accepting my case. I had all but given up on finding an attorney that was willing to take this case, and although you may not remember, I enclosed a note to you when I sent my [ins. co.] file asking you to please help me. You did that sir, and I can't thank you enough. My thanks to you Corinne for pursuing my case with vigor. I don't know much about how these legal things are handled, but I could tell by your communications with me, making sure I was always informed, that you were on top of it all. Also, you were ALWAYS available to me to answer questions, and your compassion for me and my situation is so much appreciated. I have had limited exposure to the legal system and attorneys, but I have never been able to just call and talk to them, as I could with you. I always had to speak with someone in the office that couldn't really answer my questions. My sincerest thanks and best wishes for you both You have restored my faith in the goodness of people!”

    Dick H.