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 (888) 569-6013 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

  • I am a life you have touched. May God bless you richly.

    “After suffering with constant pain for nearly seven months, losing the job I loved and then being denied my long term disability, I was extremely discouraged when I began looking for help. With a few phone calls from Mr. Kantor to my insurance company, my long term disability was reinstated . The financial burden was lifted and I have hope again. I am a life you have touched. May God bless you richly.”

    Susan H.

  • Thank you a zillion times for your patience and time and absolutely helpful information.

    “Thank you a zillion times for your patience and time and absolutely helpful information. You've helped me understand my position with my disability insurance and payments so much better. There is some real comfort in feeling anchored in knowledge…of what is and what might be in the future. Thanks to you!”

    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.

  • The light at the end of the tunnel was masked, but we found it!

    “I'm sending my heartfelt wishes to you and your team for a wonderful holiday. We celebrate Christmas this year with a lighter heart than past years - knowing how you made a difference for us and for so many others. The light at the end of the tunnel was masked, but we found it! And so, cheers to you and your incredible team. Have a wonderful and safe new year.”

    J.

  • there are no words that can express the feelings of gratitude and relief I have that you helped us

    “I wanted to thank you again for all of your help. My daughter would not be in treatment without your help. I can never thank you enough, there are no words that can express the feelings of gratitude and relief I have that you helped us, and I believe saved my little girl. Taking her back to Timberline Knolls was very difficult in many ways, I wish UBH could know the damage they have done to her by having her go in and out like this. When she went into Timberline Knolls the first time she was not happy to go exactly, no one wants to go into treatment, but she was open to going in and ready, for the first time, to really look at her issues and work hard to get better. When she had to leave Timberline she expressed that she wished she could have stayed because she felt like she was finally at a place where she was getting better and, though it was hard, she was really opening up and dealing with her issues for the first time, something she has had a hard time doing. I just wanted you to know that she was going down to a really bad place and without you I don't know what would have happened except that she would not be at Timberline Knolls right now getting better and I thought you should know this. With unending gratitude.”

    R.