Ever and Always
Chapter 13: Justice
Copyright© 2015 by Banadin
After taking a week for off, Rick and Marsha had a meeting with Clarisse. They decided it was time to proceed with General Health Insurance. Clarisse would file the forms to start four law suits.
There would be one each by Rick and Martha against GHI, then separately against a Mr. Norman Thompson, the insurance company representative. The grounds would be for fraud as their policies were to provide rest home care in a for-fee rest home.
Their policies actually were initiated by Burns and Burns as part of their trust arrangement. Each suit was for one million dollars in actual damages and ten million pain and suffering on each.
Their game plan was to try for an out-of-court settlement for a total of five million each with a non-disclosure agreement covering all parties. They would not bring this up because they knew the insurance company would. They would take the position that they were ready to go public.
Clarisse even would let them know she was considering taking out advertisements for other people who may have been dumped by GHI. This would then become a class action law suit.
The papers were served to Mr. Norman Thompson at GHI, since his was the only name on the paperwork, they had. He was served four sets of papers, those that Rick and Marsha had filed against the company and those against Mr. Thompson. This was a total of forty four million dollars. They had no expectation of receiving this amount, but they wanted to get their attention.
GHI Headquarters February 2022
"Norman, what the hell are you telling me," screamed Ed Billings Vice President of the Rest Home-Care Division. Ed had only been with this division for a year, so he knew nothing of what went on under Sam Evans the previous VP.
"If you calm down I will explain it," said Norm Thompson.
"You damn well will," came back a very upset Billings. Billings then got up from the couch where he had started the meeting.
Ed was of the mindset that employees should be at ease, so he did not put the barrier of his large desk between him and them. Instead when they asked for a meeting, he started in the living room area of his luxurious office with the couch, end tables, coffee tables and wing back chairs.
For working meetings he had a conference room table with eight chairs around it. Only if it was a serious, personnel issue did he retreat behind his desk.
He now retreated behind his desk and said in a calmer tone, "Let me see if I can get Sam Weber in here." Weber was the staff corporate attorney. This was the last person Thompson wanted to see, but he knew he had no choice and that his days at GHI were probably numbered.
While waiting for Weber, Billings had his secretary make three copies of the four sets of papers. There was one for each of the three of them, and one for his secretary's files. The originals against the company would go with Weber. Thompson could keep his.
Upon arrival, Weber read through one set of papers and asked, "Can I assume for now that the other three sets say the same?"
"Yes, you can," said Thompson in a low weary voice."
"Okay, first of all does, this case have any truth to it," Weber asked?
"Unfortunately, it is all true," Thompson replied.
"How did that happened," inquired Weber.
"Sam Evans was always pushing us to avoid paying when we could," Thompson replied in a subdued voice.
Billings said sarcastically, "Well now that is going to be a little hard to prove since he is dead. Why are you named separately in this suit?"
"If you look at the appendixes you will see my name and signature on the order to Northeast to move them to Schafer because they did not have coverage," Thompson said.
Thompson blustered, "I am not going down alone on this. If you check the files, you will see there was a pattern of this occurring before I was in this office. Every underwriter here has one or more case like this. Evans really was the force behind this."
Billings was getting red in the face and about to explode again when Weber interrupted with, "We will be interviewing everyone in this office and all recent employees of this division.
Weber continued, "The important thing here is to establish our exposure and come up with a plan to limit the damages. Norm you are suspended with pay, starting immediately. We are not leaving you high and dry, but if this gets out of control we have to show some good faith actions up front."
"In the meantime, I recommend you hire an attorney to represent you. The company cannot represent you in this action. We will try to get plaintiffs to drop their suit against you. If this thing spreads it would include all the employees individually. We could never re-staff the department."
"I'm so glad you care," Thompson said drily.
"Hey we are trying to help you," said Billings, "watch your mouth."
"Yes Sir," Thompson quickly said. "I do appreciate how this is being handled so far, it just that I felt like I was following company policy."
"Well you weren't," said Weber.
Weber continued, "I will contact their attorney of record, Mrs. Clarisse Bowden. I will let her know we will respond after we complete an internal review. I will also tell her Norm that you are retaining your own attorney, and that they will be in contact."
Ed Billings asked, "I thought we tried to do these things as slow as we could, that way they run out of funds quicker than we would?"
"Normally, I would say yes, and we will slow walk them later in negotiations if we can't get a dismissal."
"We will definitely perform a slow walk on any payments due. Right now, we want to keep them from going public. After we get them to sign a confidentiality agreement, then we can slow things down."
Billings said, "I like the way you think Sam."
Thompson said, "It is exactly that sort of thinking that got us here."
Billings and Weber both glared at Thompson, but said nothing. That hit too close to home.
Clarisse to Marsha – February 2022
Clarisse called Rick and Marsha's, "Hi Marsha. It has started. We have a letter saying they are doing an internal investigation, and that we will be hearing from Thompson's lawyer soon."
"Clarisse I'm comfortable with going after GHI, but we will destroy that Thompson guy. I don't mind the company, but he will have family, and it will ruin their lives."
Clarisse responded, "He didn't seem to mind destroying yours, but it is only a ploy to get them bothered. If this really is an ongoing problem they will have a lot of employees vulnerable."
"They can't afford to lose them all, so they will offer more to get him taken out of the suit. That or they will say that he is the sole cause and sacrifice him. The problem with that will be trying to prove that he individually could benefit."
"In the meantime, I have some really good news. A case settled in civil court that they thought would take months. We have been moved up to May 16 of this year. I was going to feel good if we could get any date this year. Of course, they will say they don't have enough time to get ready, but with what evidence we have submitted from Northeast and Schafer; I don't think the judge will cut them any slack."
GHI Headquarter - March 2022
In Ed Billing's office, Ed and Sam Weber the corporate attorney set at Ed's conference table with case files scattered.
"As you can see Ed it was as Norm told us, it was prevalent through the department," Sam told him. "The biggest danger we have now is Norman and his attorney. I'm surprised that they haven't subpoenaed our records to help their case."
"From some comments, I have heard I think they are about to do that. They have been talking to employees in the department and explaining to them how they have to stick together on this."
"Not good Ed, I think we are going to have to pay and pay through the nose on this. The only damage mitigation will be to keep it from the public. If we can get them to take an out-of-court settlement, sign a confidentiality agreement and drop the case against Norm, we will have done the best we can."
"How much would it take," asked Ed?
"I would like to start at three each, go to five if we have to," responded the attorney. "I will call Clarisse and see how that would be received."
Sam Weber found out very quickly how it would be received.