Originally created 03/09/02

Trial lawyers not terrorists



Allan Levene's March 2 letter refers to trial lawyers as "economic terrorists" who should be legislated out of business. I disagree.

I have six whole-life insurance policies purchased 20 or more years ago. I was told that on certain dates beginning in 1990 the policies would be paid up (offset by dividends), and I would no longer have to make premium payments.

When those dates came and I inquired about their offset status, I was repeatedly given a new offset date two years in the future. With premium payments exceeding $2,000 a year, a substantially larger amount of money went to pay for this insurance than I ever intended.

I subsequently discovered that over $10,000 in payments went to purchase new insurance that I did not need or want. Two of these policies were part of a class action suit against the insurance company and resulted in a payment equal to the decade of overpayment for those policies. Four of the policies were purchased before the time period covered by the lawsuit and the lawyers advised me to seek relief through Georgia's legal system.

I called and wrote to various state agencies including the attorney general's office and the commissioner of insurance and found no one who claimed this type of action as falling under their jurisdiction. Many times no one returned my calls or responded to my letters.

While I find the outcome of some trials to be astoundingly absurd, consumer rights would be seriously damaged without the services of trial lawyers.

Susan Kinney, Waynesboro, Ga.