Eric Dick Takes on Geico for Denying Customer's Claim

Categories: Courts

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It doesn't matter what the police say: If Geico says you're a thief, you're a thief.
If there's one thing everyone can agree on, it's that auto insurance companies are freaking awesome. They universally love their customers, who are legally required to purchase a service they may never actually use, and if a customer does have to pay a claim, insurance companies never bend over backwards to try to weasel out of making a payment. That's why Hair Balls jumps for joy whenever we see auto insurance commercials -- it's such a positive reminder. Especially the one with that fucking lizard. That never gets annoying.

We say all this because we were shocked to learn about a lawsuit filed by Houston attorney (and former City Council candidate) Eric Dick claiming that Geico denied his client's claim on a stolen car because the company's investigator believed Dick's client had staged the theft.

Here's what happened: A guy named Ronald Dell Nunley was convicted of stealing a Saturn Ion belonging to James Steagall in 2011. At one point, Nunley, who worked odd jobs at Steagall's body shop, said that Steagall hired him to "steal" the car.

Steagall was never charged with anything. But Geico knows better than the po-po, and the investigator weighed Nunley's claim, along with the fact that there was no evidence of the Saturn being broken into, and decided the cops didn't know jack, and Geico wasn't going to pay its customer, because its customer was apparently a dirty, rotten, lying fraudster.

"This is the quintessential case of bad faith," Dick told Hair Balls. "...How many people have they done this to that didn't have a lawyer...If they got away with this ten, 15 times, they come out ahead."

And, in case he didn't make his point clear enough, Dick added: "This is bullshit." (Dick was also proud of his press release on the suit, which stated "...denying an insurance claim is so easy a caveman can do it."

Circumstantially, we could see how a determined investigator could cobble a case together: Steagall told Hair Balls he owed between $6,000 and $7,000 on the car. Steagall knew the thief. There was no smashed window or broken steering column. (So apparently, if a car thief isn't a bumbling moron, that expertise can be held against you, the Geico customer.)

The case, filed in Harris County District Court, has since been set for mediation, and Geico's spokeswoman would not comment. So therefore, she couldn't tell us what kind of evidence (if any) its investigator has against Steagall.


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Harris County Civil Courts

201 Caroline St., Houston, TX

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2 comments
johnnyalex85012
johnnyalex85012

I like to rag oninsurance companies as much as the next guy, but this sounds a little fishy.  Didn't the guy convicted of the theft have to pay for the vehicle.  Where is the vehicle?

catinthehat
catinthehat

so apparently all stolen cars have smashed windows? I like the theory that while working there, thief made copy of key, or was just damned good as most are. Heck Jesse Jackson went to Detroit-they stole his escalade as soon as he parked it! think they denied HIS claim? Probably not bc he probably didn't have geico! I hope he wins-ins co flunkies get away w/murder everyday.

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