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Did Progressive Lawyers Defend a Man Who Killed One of Its Policyholders?

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Progressive

A man whose sister was killed by another motorist says that during the ensuing court battle, his sister’s insurance company — Progressive — actually defended the at-fault driver.

And after taking his complaints public, the case is getting a lot of attention.

In June of 2010, Katie Fisher, 24, was killed in Baltimore when another driver ran a red light and plowed into her car at an intersection. That person’s insurance company — Nationwide — settled quickly, but he didn’t have much insurance.

Katie’s policy carried a $100,000 payout intended to protect her in case another driver was under-insured, but Progressive balked at paying the difference between that amount and what Nationwide paid.

Like several other states, Maryland laws dictate only drivers — not insurance companies — can be sued. So Katie’s family filed suit against the driver to establish negligence, which they hoped to use as leverage to make Progressive pay what they believed was owed. In the end, a jury found in favor of the victim’s family and awarded $760,000 in damages.

But during the court case, Katie’s brother Matt says an attorney from Progressive actually helped defend the at-fault driver, and he’s livid about it. After writing a blog post, the story caught fire — and a lot of people are upset.

For its part, Progressive said on its website that it “did not serve as the attorney for the defendant in this case” and that “there was a question as to who was at fault, and [since] a jury decided in the Fisher family’s favor … [we] now can continue to work with [them] to reach a resolution.”

[Consumerist]

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