1600 S. BRENTWOOD BLVD., SUITE 220 • ST. LOUIS, MO 63144 // FINNEYINJURYLAW.COM // 314-293-4222 // APRIL 2019
UNBELIEVABLE TACTICS USED BY INSURANCE COMPANIES WHERE ELSE IS THIS OKAY?
A man is stationed outside a newly single woman’s home for hours and hours each day in the back seat of a tinted minivan or in a nondescript compact car. Each time he's there, he has a camera rolling, pointed at the woman’s house. Sometimes it’s even focused on the inside of her house at night. Sometimes he follows her, filming her leaving her home in the morning for work. Sometimes he films her at home as late as 9:45 p.m. and as early as 5:45 a.m. Sometimes he’s parked within a few feet of her property line, just to get a glimpse of her — anything, really. If this was an ex-boyfriend, he would be arrested for stalking and harassment. There would be tremendous concern for the woman’s safety. There would be outrage. If it were a neighbor, the same would happen. If it were a random peeping Tom, they’d be labeled a complete freak. But when the woman is a plaintiff in a lawsuit, it is suddenly supposed to be okay — it's “expected” — like it comes with the territory of filing a lawsuit.
she could do before they took the video. There was no “gotcha” moment. There was nothing but pure intimidation and harassment. Video surveillance is used to intimidate plaintiffs, to place them under such mental anguish that they constantly wonder who is outside and how their activities might be manipulated on film. It's a horrible way to live. Why do some of us think this okay or par for the course? It is a violation of privacy and against all social norms outside of a lawsuit. This conduct by insurance companies continues because we let it. These companies, which are really just huge conglomerations of capital, have perpetuated baseless standards that presume all plaintiffs and claimants are fakers. But this was never true. The only way to stop this behavior is to expose it for what it really is: intimidation, fearmongering, and manipulation. We were able to show the motives behind this surveillance. The jury understood. They returned a verdict of $1,500,000 when the defense lawyer said they should give $2,500. That's how the jury system should work. These events need to be out in the open for all of us to see, not in the back seat of some tinted- window minivan in the dark of night.
Here are the men who did all of the above. This was a real occurrence, and it happened to our client. All she did was file a lawsuit for her injuries after she was hit. AAA went after her. They hired these men to stake out her home. They only told us about one of them after they were legally compelled by the court to do so. We discovered the second man while cross-examining the first. These men worked for an international surveillance company whose client list includes the biggest insurers in the world. Their job is simple: Save the insurers money by “catching” the plaintiff doing something. By intimidating. By inducing fear. These men were instructed to film our client, to sit outside her home for 12 hours at a time, to follow her if necessary, and to turn the camera on whenever they believed it was necessary. What did they catch after four days of doing this? They presented 17 minutes of our client cutting her own yard (a yard that took her two hours to cut). They could not tell us why they only had 17 minutes when it had in fact taken much longer for her to cut the grass, and everything they caught her doing was exactly what she testified
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