Slideshow Of The Decade: Allstate's BluePrint For Fraud
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Allstate Insurance Co. has a split personality. Its TV/advertising personality is the Good Hands People. Its internal, claims-processing personality is similar to Mike Tyson's.
In lawsuits in New Orleans and across the country, Allstate Insurance Co. has been accused of using its financial might to drag out claims and coerce injury victims and property owners into accepting low-ball settlement offers for their insurance claims.
Secret documents that trial lawyers say show the motive behind Allstate's tactics have drawn increased national scrutiny, most recently from PBS's NOW, a TV news magazine.
Barring a last-minute settlement, Allstate's claims-handling will be put to the test in a civil trial set to start Monday in Fayette Circuit Court for a $1.425 billion lawsuit filed by Geneva Hager of Richmond.
The trial appears to be only the third time internal company documents that Allstate has fought to keep secret will be shown to the public.
The most famous document, which became the title of a book, plays off the company's slogan. It states that claimants who accept Allstate's offers are in "good hands" while those who object get the "boxing gloves." Trial lawyers call the McKinsey documents a blueprint for fraud.
The documents are actually 12,500 pages of PowerPoint slides developed by McKinsey & Co., which Allstate hired in 1992 to redesign the way it handles claims.
As a greedy trial lawyer who has gone more than a few rounds with Allstate, I would be willing to sit through all 12,500 slides to see the origin of the Allstate strategy to screw claimants. I probably could create dozens of slides from my experiences - for example: "I would like to offer more money for your broken neck, but the computer program says this is all I can pay." But, the original slides - that would be the Unholy Grail.
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