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In unusual move, chipotle shows good corporate citizenship and settles claims

In a refreshing show of good corporate citizenship, Chipotle steps to the plate, takes responsibility and compensates injured victims. Chipotle settled with nearly all victims of food poisoning claims. For once, a major corporation steps to the plate, pays legitimate claims and does not force victims to litigate. Whatever, their motivation was, they deserve credit for this. Those who follow my writings know that I have authored dozens of articles railing against big insurance. I have written about their corporate greed. I have held corporate America and indemnity companies accountable for their delay, deny, denigrate the victim and litigate culture that is pervasive.

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Chipotle does the right thing and pays up!

“Chipotle Mexican Grill has agreed to financial settlements with more than 100 customers who fell ill after eating at its restaurants last year, lawyers for the consumers said, as it attempts to move on from a string of food-safety problems. The burrito chain’s strategy of resolving claims out of court, which has not previously been reported, shows it wants to avoid drawn-out public battles over foodborne illnesses that battered the company’s stock price and reputation.” http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/09/09/425922.htm 

“The claims, settled over the last six months or so, involved people whose illnesses were verified by medical tests, Marler said. Most were never filed in courts. The way that Chipotle has been handling the legitimate claims has been textbook appropriate,” Marler said. “They’ve taken responsibility.” Resolving customers’ claims privately allows Chipotle to “try and move forward from a disappointing and embarrassing issue,” said Lonny Sweet, chief executive officer for The Connect Group, a marketing agency focused on food.The last thing that they want is a battle in the courtroom over paying these people money because that keeps it in the news,” said Howard Penney, a managing director for research firm Hedgeye Risk Management, who follows Chipotle.” http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/09/09/425922.htm

Cynics will be cynics-  But at the end of the day, chipotle’s motivation is irrelevant.

Some cynics will claim that Chipotle deserves no credit for fairly, justly and generously settling with the injured victims. These cynics will say Chipotle did it to avoid an embarrassing trial and further publicity of this unfortunate event.  But at the end of the day , chipotle’s motivation is irrelevant.  They paid the victims fairly and they deserve credit for this. They told their high powered insurance defense lawyers and adjusters to stand down, and treat victim’s justly and fairly.

There was none of the typical  bad faith deleterious an incendiary insurance tactics in this case such as:

  • the unfortunate practice of blaming the  injured victim for their own injury. This is a digusting practice often perpetrated by insurance
  • alleging that the injured victim  actually got sick at another restaurant , fast food joint or at home
  • claiming the victim had a preexisting injury (even if it was from years before) and therefore their negligence did not cause the injuries
  • delaying payment so they can use the victim’s settlement money to earn further income, this is earning money off the float.
  • undermining the credibility of the injured victim by bringing up old criminal convictions or irrelevant  embarrassing online posts
  • forcing multiple injured victims to litigate separately to drive up their costs
  • alleging that the victims were partially responsible or assumed the risk
  • denying the claim. This is something insurance adjusters are very good at.
  • character assassination of the victim including calling the victim a liar, criminal or untrustworthy
  • alleging the injured victims over treated, under-treated or did not treat
  • alleging that the victim’s injury was exaggerated or imaginary or that the victim is menatlly ill. This usually involves trying to obtain the victim’ s psychologocal records to attempt to shame them into  a pennies on the dollar settlement
  •  deleterious illegal low ball settlement tactics
  • seeking irrelevant information to embarrass the victims. That old nude picture that an ex put up on the internet will be fodder for de facto extortion.
  • paying  top high priced  personal injury insurance defense victims to litigate for years

Hardball litigation tactics by insurance companies- Providence personal injury lawyer

Insurance carriers, corporate america and insurance adjusters often practice illegal hard ball litigation tactics that are considered bad faith . The most well known and infamous tactics are delaying payment of legitimate claims, denial of claims covered by the policy and “low ball” settlement tactics. Some other types of bad faith insurance tactics that  I see in Providence Superior Court include:

• Denial of a legitimate Rhode Island  personal injury claim without providing a valid reason or any rationale or justification
• Failure to perform a thorough, fair and complete investigation into a personal injury, car accident, premises liability or property damage claim
• Delay payment for compensation of a valid claim for years or perhaps many years.

• Make threatening or misleading statements to  injured victims filing a claim for tort  compensation
• Misrepresent policy language or the law concerning insurance coverage
• Ignore phone calls and letters from victims and deny such calls occurred
• Prolong negotiations for a settlement unnecessarily with hopes that the victim will become desperate as a result of foreclosure or bankruptcy
• Tell the claimant the file has been lost, destroyed or transferred to another office
• Making statements that the claim was filed too late, even when the statute of limitations has not yet expired!
• Offer substantially less compensation to the RI injured victim than the value of the claim
• Refusal to pay any compensation of a valid  negligence and injury claim including wrongful death,  RI slip and fall and Providence construction accident claims
• Refuse a legitimate or reasonable request for documents, pictures or evidence they have compiled.

If you were injured in an accident in Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, contact a Providence personal injury attorney. A RI personal injury lawyer  who is also  a car accident lawyer in Rhode Island will fight to get the seriously injured victim justice and compensation that they are entitled to.

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Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.

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