MISSOULA, MONT. (CN) – Allstate Insurance defied court orders and hid 390 pages of the “McKinsey Report,” describing its nationwide claims processes and how it modified them under pressure of litigation, finally releasing the pages a month ago only because Florida had suspended its license to write policies, 12 plaintiffs say in a fraud claim in Federal Court.
“In Florida, on Friday, April 4, 2008, the District Court of Appeals, First District of Florida, upheld Florida’s authority to suspend Allstate’s license on the ground that its refusal to produce the McKinsey Report constituted an immediate danger to the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens,” this complaint states.
“That order exposes Allstate’s modus operandi which includes ignoring Court Orders, non-compliance with Court Orders and custom and practice of disregarding state authorities whose business it is to regulate insurance business. Particularly, that Order exposes Allstate’s contempt for America’s civil justice system and those individuals who choose to litigate against Allstate,” the complaint states.
Allstate hired McKinsey & Co. in the early 1990s “to analyze Allstate’s claims department procedures and make recommendations how Allstate could change its claims handling practices across the nation, including Montana, in order to generate more income for Allstate while paying money for claimants,” the complaint states. Allstate allegedly incorporated McKinsey’s suggestions into its “Claims Core Process Redesign” in 1995, which “drastically altered the manner in which it handled claims in Montana and elsewhere, which violated the Montana Unfair Trade Practices Act,” the complaint states.
“(T)he Plaintiffs’ counsel have litigated and settled on behalf of first or third party complainants against Allstate. Plaintiffs were defrauded as a result of Allstate’s concealment of significant portions of the McKinsey Report. Allstate was represented by attorney Ronald Getchey of San Diego California. Plaintiffs are informed and believe that Mr. Getchey’s conduct on behalf of Allstate in the Plaintiffs’ cases and other cases across the country, reflects and demonstrates the will of Allstate to thwart justice, abuse process, and perpetrate fraud which demonstrates that Defendants’ conduct was not a mistake, but done with actual malice and/or actual fraud, warranting punitive damages. Examples of such conduct are provided below and also illustrate the ‘aggressive’ defense tactics when the McKinsey Report, the new paradigm, was implemented in 1995,” the complaint states.
Plaintiffs claim that Allstate’s defiance of a court order to produce the McKinsey Report in a Missouri case led the court to fine it $25,000 a day, beginning on Aug. 27, 2007.
“Even though the fine now amounts to a sum in excess of $4 million, Mr. Getchey advised the Kansas City Start that Allstate will not produce the documents ‘no matter how much he [the Court] fines them.’ This Allstate tactic is part of the aggressive company-wide policy to refuse compliance with discovery Orders which has been in existence since 1995 and has been verified by Allstate’s lead in-house counsel who oversees its bad faith litigation, Paul Hasty, who has testified under oath that Allstate would rather be the subject of a contempt order than produce the McKinsey Report. Mr. Hasty calls that ‘gentleman’s contempt.'”
Plaintiffs demand punitive damages for contempt, fraud, malice, abuse of process and negligent misrepresentation. They are represented by McKeon & Anderson of Butte and Hoyt & Blewett of Great Falls.