AIG needs its money for its own problems, people, and doesn’t want to have to share with insurance claimants! That’s why they’ve fought every request from John Woodson, a man who lost a leg, an eye, and 70% of the vision in the remaining eye while working as a contractor in Iraq. He told ABC News, “You constantly are worried about who is going to pay these bills, who is going to take care of me? Because you can’t rely on AIG to come through for you. I don’t understand how a company of their size and their magnitude, with government bailouts and money and support, I don’t understand their not taking care of the individuals that were injured.”
Note: In related news, AIG is currently beating Peanut Corp of America in round two of our Worst Company in America 2009 contest.
In particular, Woodson has had to fight the insurer to provide him a waterproof leg so he can shower standing up, and they’ve denied his attempts to get an $8,000 plastic leg with a spring in it so he can walk without pain (he broke his pelvis when the bomb threw him from his truck). ABC News says that AIG also “fought to keep from paying for a wheelchair or glasses for the eye in which he has 30 percent vision.”
In the end, Woodson says he thinks it was pressure from his lawyer and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) that forced AIG to finally provide an improved leg, with replacement parts, but not a new one as his doctor had ordered.
Woodson’s lawyer, Toby Cole, says he sees a pattern of AIG “delaying and denying” claims from contractors injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It’s difficult for me to think it’s anything but a concentrated effort just to ignore these guys,” said Cole.
In its statement, AIG says the “vast majority” of claims are “paid without dispute when the proper supporting medical evidence has been received.”
If the doctor ordered the replacement leg as ABC states above, we’re not sure how this AIG statement has anything to do with this particular case. We guess they’re just admitting, in a roundabout way, that there are indeed some claims they only pay after lots and lots of dispute.
“Blind Amputee Has to Fight AIG for New Plastic Leg, Wheelchair” [ABC News] (Thanks to Jarvis!)