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Prompt and Fair Settlements

August 22, 1986

The Times published a story (Aug. 11) concerning the 1985 Delta Air Lines crash in Dallas-Fort Worth. The thrust of the story is that very few losses have been filed by the families because Delta has been very sensitive and fair to the plight of the victims and has apparently offered prompt and fair settlements. Apparently the U.S. district judge who is hearing the case was very surprised by the low number of lawsuits that were actually filed.

There is a lesson to be learned from this story for all concerned with the current insurance crisis. The insurance industry drives victims to lawyers in droves because of their insensitivity in handling victims' claims and their foot-dragging in getting them resolved.

If the insurance industry could only give its claims personnel sensitivity training so as to make its claims handling process more prompt and equitable, we would all be saved from the tremendous costs and drain of resources of lawsuits. Indeed, for a lawyer like myself who handles insurance bad-faith lawsuits, I would be driven out of business.

Can it be that so much of the current problem could be solved by the insurance industry simply becoming fair and prompt on claims? You bet. But don't count on it happening, as they never have been and I doubt if they ever will.

WILLIAM M. SHERNOFF

Claremont

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