California’s Insurance Comm. Dave Jones ordered Mercury to pay the $27.6 fine by charging Mercury with fraudulent “handling” fees.
This is the largest fine against a California auto insurance company. A judge recommended the fine to the Dept. of Insurance after finding that illegal fees were charged to 180,000 auto customers.
Mercury’s president Gabriel Tirador says the fine “is contrary to California’s rates, law, due process and basic notions of fairness”. Mercury will sue.
Prop 103 approved by California voters in 1988 requires the state commissioner to approve auto insurance rates.
Do you still have insurance with Mercury?
Ms. Gutierrez slipped on a stairway in defendant’s apartment complex. She claimed defendant failed to properly maintain a dimly lit and slippery staircase leading to the second floor.
Gutierrez, 48 claimed aggravation of a pre-existing degenerative spine. Her chiropractor referred her to pain management specialist and an orthopedist. She underwent an epidural injection shortly before trial. She stated she would need an anterior lumbar interbody fusion with infix cage surgery at one level.
Her medical bills exceeded $54,000. Before trial she demanded $150,000 and defendants offered $60,000.
After 11 days, the jury awarded the plaintiff $309,681. $159,681 for her medical bills and lost earnings and an additional $150,000 for pain and suffering.
Gutierrez vs. West Property Management Inc. Santa Monica Superior Court. Judge Lawrence Cho. LC 096 6061
Slip and Fall injuries are tricky but can cause great damage.
Gutierrez suffered a dramatic fall
Her chiropractor smartly referred her to capable specialists who make this a major case.