Struck and killed by a passing car? That will be $6,000, please.
That’s what one insurance company told the grieving relatives of a Long Island grandmother who was fatally injured while crossing a busy street earlier this year in Westbury, N.Y. A BMW struck Anna Cedeno, 70, in the westbound lanes of Old Country Road on April 2 as she walked toward a bus stop.
PURE, the insurance company of the driver, now wants Cedeno’s estate to pay $6,245.09 for damage to the BMW, according to a letter obtained by the New York Post.
“Our investigation shows that your client was responsible for the accident,” read the letter. “We now look forward to your client’s estate for payment of the damages.”
After The New York Post contacted the insurance company, PURE backtracked on its macabre efforts, and said it was not its policy to pursue damages in “a case like this.” In a statement to The Post, the president of the company wrote:
“We acknowledge that a letter was written and sent by an otherwise excellent claims professional. … That created the impression that reimbursement would be pursued even if there was no applicable insurance. This runs counter to our position, and (PURE) should not have written the letter.”
Daniel Flanzig, the attorney for the Cedeno’s daughter, doesn’t buy that explanation.
He tells The Huffington Post “this was not just a form letter issued by an insurance company, but rather a conscious decision by the company to get their money back from this family.”
In a similar recent case in Maryland, the brother of a woman killed in a car accident said that Progressive, her insurance company, helped defend the man accused of killing her at trial instead of representing its client.