Florida Court Suspends Allstate in Florida

Florida Court Suspends Allstate in Florida
Late Friday, April 4, 2008, the District Court of Appeals, First District, State of Florida upheld the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s suspension of Allstate from writing insurance in the State of Florida. The Office had suspended Allstate earlier this year for a refusal to produce the McKinsey Documents during an investigation of Allstate. That investigation, started as a result of the media surrounding Trial Guides book From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves, and J. Robert Hunter’s reference to it. These resulted in Allstate being cut off from a market comprising 17% of its national sales.

The District Court of Appeals found Allstate guilty of arbitrary reductions of “bodily injury claim payments to its policyholders and beneficiaries by up to 20%.” It also determined that Allstate was engaged in ongoing criminal activity by failing to cooperate with the Office of Insurance Regulation’s investigation of a crime, and that this constituted a danger to the public health, safety or welfare of citizens. This followed ongoing civil contempt fines in other states for refusing to produce the McKinsey Documents.

Realizing the seriousness of this, given the pending shareholder lawsuit against the company for other problems resulting from the company’s refusal to turn over the documents in several cases nationally, Allstate posted 150,000 documents related to McKinsey on their web site. This number of documents is substantially more than the number they had represented were “all” of the McKinsey documents to several courts in the country.

But it wasn’'t that ruling alone that scared Allstate into finally disclosing the documents. It was that Trial Guides is about to release a public version of From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves. As the Miami Herald-Tribune said just as that book was going to print, “Berardinelli's plan to publish a book for the general public next month, and a Florida appellate court decision against Allstate on Friday, may have finally convinced Allstate it was losing the war.”

Please note that while the McKinsey documents are presently  available on Allstate's web site (probably very briefly), only David Berardinelli's legal text will tell you what they mean in detail, and the financial and practical aspects of how they have impacted claims. Only plaintiff lawyers can purchase the legal treatise for lawyers. For all others interested in this topic, you can pre-order the public version of From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves: The Dark Side of Insurance now.