Military Personnel File Class Action Against USAA Insurance Companies

May 12 2011

Portland, OR: A federal bad faith insurance class action lawsuit has been filed against USAA insurance and others, by military families who allege they have been cheated out of medical treatment for injuries related to auto-accidents.

Four plaintiffs, all women, who filed the suit, claim that say USAA Casualty Insurance or one of its clones refused to pay legitimate claims for medical expenses after they had suffered automobile accidents. The named defendants are USAA Casualty Insurance Co., United Services Automobile Association, USAA General Indemnity Co., USAA County Mutual Insurance Corp., Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance, Auto Injury Solutions Inc. and chiropractors Clark Wolf III and Ross Hart.

The suit includes claims that the plaintiffs, including Margaret Soukup who is currently on active duty, were "induced into" hiring USAA as their primary insurer for themselves and their families. "USAA touted its commitment to servicing military families and advertised the 'exclusive privileges of its auto insurance,' noting that, 'For those who stood tall for this country and for their families, we stand ready to return the favor,'" the complaint states.

Soukup alleges that following a rear-end collision in which she was injured, and subsequently submitted a claim for personal injuries, USAA referred her claim to Auto Injury Solutions (AIS), without her knowledge, which put together "sham file reviews" that USAA uses to "uniformly conclude that medical treatment was not needed."

Brittney Bathurst, who was nearly killed in a collision, makes similar claims, alleging that a sham file was created and that the signature on the file review was "an 'electronic' signature;" that "the report states in no uncertain terms that 'A Physician Review has been completed;'" and that that statement "is absolutely false."

Another of the plaintiffs, Amber DeMerritt, claims that following an accident in Oregon, USAA and AIS created "at least four sham file review reports, purportedly created by a George D. Sage, a chiropractor in Decatur, Georgia."

And the fourth plaintiff, Samantha Jones, says the defendants created "nine sham file reviews" and used them to deny her coverage.

They seek punitive damages for the class, for breach of contract, breach of faith, and violations of insurance laws and regulations.

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