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Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis
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AIG – Workers Compensation – The Bailout

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Well, I have just seen first hand what the bailout has done for AIG: made them even more heartless and cold than ever before. We represent a family who lives in Mexico. Their son was employed by a company in Atlanta, and he was killed on the job. The company is insured by AIG, and it is a clear liability case. What is AIG’s response?

First, they made this man’s parents travel across Mexico, obtain a special permit to enter our country, and come to Atlanta to give a deposition with a translator. They do not speak English. These individuals live in a two bedroom, aluminum house with 8 family members. We cannot imagine the life they live.

They cried at their deposition over the loss of their son. This was VERY emotional for them. They went back to Mexico, and the defense attorney and I discussed the possibiliity of settling the case.

I learned today that AIG is not interested in settling this case because they want to make it hard on this family. They know how difficult it is for them to travel back to this country, and they know it’s difficult to get them back into this country. It’s a foregone conclusion that the case will be won, but AIG doesn’t care. They want to hold on to their money until the last possible date.

So, not only does AIG know the case is a loser from their standpoint, but they want to make it difficult on a very poor family in Mexico who just lost their son while he was working hard for AIG’s insured. Furthermore, AIG knows that they have nothing to lose by doing this because the worst that can happen is they pay what they should pay anyway. The Judge cannot rule that they owe more than what the workers compensation statute says they owe so what do they care.

I ask you the following questions:

1. Is this right?
2. Is this humane?
3. Should AIG be punished for taking this stance?
4. Should AIG’s insured have to endure further litigation because AIG wants to hold onto its money?
5. Should my client’s family be made to suffer further?
6. Should they have to spend more money to come back to this country?
7. How should our system handle these situations?

The next time you hear about trial attorneys and tort reform, think about this case. It is insurance companies that drag out litigation and increase costs. It is insurance companies that turn down fair settlement offers and make their insured’s go through the litigation process. It is insurance companies that make us take doctor depositions. AND, it is insurance companies that blame everything on the trial lawyers of America.

Isn’t it time someone started holding these insurance companies accountable? AIG received billions of dollars of our tax money, and yet, this is how they treat human beings while they go to their spas and on their English hunting trips. It is time for these companies and the individuals operating them who have fleeced America to start paying the price.