Lawsuit Filed by Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley LLP Alleges 92-Year-Old Double Amputee Victimized by Caregivers, Denied by Farmers

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Lawsuit highlights challenges seniors face with insurance companies and caregivers

Attorneys from Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley, on behalf of Erica Haines, a 92-year-old double amputee, filed a lawsuit against Fire Insurance Exchange, part of the Farmers Group, after the company denied her claim (ERICA HAINES v. FIRE INSURANCE EXCHANGE, Los Angeles Superior Court Case no.: BC518160).

According to the lawsuit, in March 2013, Ms. Haines submitted a claim that over the last few years her caregivers had stolen roughly $150,000 worth of items and personal mementos from her home in Palm Springs, CA. She discovered she was the victim of serial thievery by unscrupulous caregivers when she was doing inventory of her home with her current caregiver and realized she was missing numerous valuables.

"We believe and allege that Erica Haines has suffered harm at the hands of caregivers and now at the hands of her insurance company," said her attorney, Howard Shernoff. "Farmers said that she couldn’t prove thefts occurred, even though she filed a police report and submitted a list of items that were stolen." Shernoff noted that his client has been a loyal Farmers customer since 1967, when she bought her first policy.

Details of the Case
Ms. Haines currently lives alone with the help of a caregiver. She escaped the Holocaust in her native Austria and managed to move to the United States in the early years of World War II. She lost her legs due to medical complications, and as a result lacks the physical capacity to wash and dress herself, move around her apartment and even reach or view many of the valuables she has collected over the years.

The lawsuit alleges the following items were stolen: included a spare pair of prosthetic legs, a set of hearing aids, canes, cameras, rare books, original paintings, cosmetics, clothing, medicine and Ms. Haines' wedding ring.

About Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley LLP
Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley LLP leads the nation in protecting policyholders from insurance company abuse. The firm has been protecting the rights of insurance consumers, both individuals and businesses, for over 35 years after having set the legal precedent requiring insurance companies to act in good faith.

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Joe Marchelewski
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