October 10, 2012–Seal Beach, CA–
The victim who lost her family and friends in the worst mass murder in Orange County history is suing the business insurance company who she says delayed paying her claim after the horrific shooting in 2011, according to the Orange County Register.
Sandi Fannin, owner of Salon Meritage near Pacific Coast Highway, is suing the insurance company Employers Mutual Casualty for bad faith and for inflicting emotional pain and distress on her by withholding payments for loss of property and income.
Fannin was in the back of her salon mixing hair dye when Scott Dekraai, 42, of Huntington Beach, allegedly entered the salon and shot his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier. He then shot eight more people randomly, including Fannin’s husband.
Fannin survived the attack and filed a claim with her company for loss of income while the salon was closed after the shootings. The company gave her 30 days to get the business up and running. Eventually the company paid her less than half of the money to which she was entitled, according to the complaint.
Fannin stated that the insurance representatives were rude and lacked compassion, treating her as an enemy rather than a client. They demanded that she get the business running and refused to pay the benefits to which she was entitled under the policy, according to her complaint.
My sincere condolences go out to Ms. Fannin in this time of grief and loss.
What Are Insurance Companies Required To Do?
Insurance companies are businesses, just like any other type of company that seeks to make a profit. They make their money by minimizing risk and cost while taking in premiums to pay for policies. As long as these companies take in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims, they make a profit.
This gives insurance companies a great incentive to deny or minimize claims whenever possible. However, these companies must find a balance between what their policies require them to pay and what their customers claim they are owed.
In order to outline exactly what they are required to pay, insurance companies write exhaustive policies detailing every aspect of the conditions under which they will give benefits to their customers. In this case, the customer is claiming that the company did not live up to its own policy by denying legitimate payments.
Does This Lawsuit Have Merit?
Until the exact terms of the policy are revealed, there is no way to know if the lawsuit in this claim is based on actionable grounds. A professional personal injury attorney can handle bad faith insurance lawsuits for clients who feel they have been wronged by insurance companies.