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 (877) 783-8686 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

  • First of all, I want to express my extreme gratitude for probably saving my daughter's life.

    “First of all, I want to express my extreme gratitude for probably saving my daughter's life. By staying in treatment, the improvement is remarkable. She had been in eating disorder facilities many times, and treatment had been interrupted repeatedly by Anthem Blue Cross's denying benefits. Many of the health professionals were telling me that maybe my daughter was a hopeless case. You both gave me hope. She is still struggling with some residual issues around eating, but the change in her attitude, her ability to assess her own recovery, and her wish to live instead of to die, is evident in her life. Now she is back in school, after years of having her education disrupted by the eating disorder. She goes places with friends, and even goes out to restaurants for fun! This year marked the first holiday season for many years, when she had not been in a treatment facility. Other people gave up and you didn't. I can't thank you enough. You took the action that was necessary to keep my daughter in treatment long enough for it to work.”

    Anonymous

  • 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.

  • Thank you for being lawyers with a heart.

    “Thank you for being lawyers with a heart.”

    Miriam T.

  • 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.

  • Finding, and working with your team has been such a blessing to me.

    “Thanks again for all your help. Finding, and working with your team has been such a blessing to me. Deepest regards.”

    M.