Tag Archives: Halloween

What do Halloween and EPLI have in common?


We like to stump you here at the Insurance Community Center and what better opportunity than Halloween.

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays—no pressure with gift giving and usually no hangover the next day. It is not our goal to ruin every holiday for all of you by putting the “insurance spin” to the festivities, but rather to make you aware of the real exposures attached to these celebrations so you, or your customers, are not blind sighted by a lawsuit.

Halloween is a much bigger holiday than most of us might have realized. According to consumer studies, behind Christmas, Americans spend more money on Halloween than any other holiday. Halloween adds more than $10 billion dollars annually to the gross domestic product. On the insurance side of this issue, there are more pedestrian car accidents on Halloween night than any other time during the year. There is always the concern with the crazies that purportedly try to injure the trick-or-treaters with tainted or dangerous treats.

The festive Halloween mood has long been a time of celebration in offices, insurance agencies included. It marks the beginning of the holiday season. It is estimated that over 1/3 of employer’s offer Halloween celebrations at work. From a workplace standpoint, celebrating Halloween has been a benefit in team building; reducing stress and tension and nurturing creativity. Those are all the positive aspects of the office Halloween celebration and certainly the way I fondly remember those parties in the good old days.

But the mood has changed and with that change comes the reality of employee discontent. I was surprised to read so many articles about EPLI claims and the office Halloween parties—who would have thought? Employment Practices Liability has been available for decades and we all should be well aware of the importance of offering Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) to all of business insurance clients. We are accustomed to thinking about EPLI as relates sexual harassment; wrongful termination; discrimination and now the wage and hour allegations. So how does Halloween fit into this group of coverages. In an article titled “Imprudent Halloween Policies Can Be the Nail in the Coffin to FLSA and Title VII Compliance” there is a discussion on the two federal laws relate to employment practices and celebrating Halloween.

Before considering putting on a Halloween celebrations , remember to consider all the issues related to inappropriate dress, unsuitable behavior, religious beliefs, employee safety, as well as the company image. Then also make sure you have the proper employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) coverages, to guard against any claims. There was an excellent article written by Keven Moore titled Halloween Celebration in the Workplace can be Risky on 10/16/12 that discusses many of the issues we are highlighting in this article that can be accessed at :

Here are some broad categories that cause issue with the celebration in the workplace:

There have always been questions to whether Halloween is a Christian, Pagan, or Secular holiday and therein lays the problem. There seems to be agreement that Halloween evolved out of a Catholic holiday called All Hallows Eve which occurs the day before All Saints Day, a general celebration of the saints on November 1. The obvious problem with celebrating this holiday in the office is if it offends anyone’s religious beliefs and forces them into an environment of celebrating a holiday they either do not believe in or are opposed to celebrating. Certainly this same claim could be made for Christmas, as well.

Inappropriate Costume:
It is very difficult to control what employees may consider to be an appropriate costume. In an effort to maintain a professional and discrimination-free workplace, there must be “rules” that govern what the employees can wear. In any office there is always an employee or two who will push the boundaries to the point of violating the company’s dress code and may even be politically incorrect for the office environment. In this year of a presidential election, we have to be overly cautious not to violate an individual’s rights to their own political views and discriminate in any way by making remarks OR appearances that would offend them.

Face it, not everyone has a sense of humor. Some employees may see Halloween as an opportunity to engage in practical jokes, or send and receive emails with menacing, threatening or explicit content. Most companies have email and/or Internet policies that explicitly preclude this practice and Halloween should be no exception to the policies. What appears to all be in good fun—may not be funny!

Workplace Violence:
It is hard to believe that his could be a concern in the Halloween office party; however in the society that we live in today, employers must set limits on masks and costumes and prohibit toy or real weapons as costume props.

Do not pressure employees to participate. If an employee advises you that he or she wishes to abstain from the Halloween celebration, respect that decision.

Safety Guidelines:
Each workplace has its own set of unique risk exposures and hazards and employers must be cautious of the safety hazards that clothing from costumes around any moving parts or machinery may cause injury. Or Masks that might obscure an employee’s field of vision which could prove to be hazardous. Costumes not flame resistant should be prohibited in certain work settings with ignition sources. Employees should be reminded that safety rules must be observed at all times and that any costume that could create a hazard is not permitted. If children are allowed to attend the office Halloween party it is important to create a safe environment and assess what potential safety exposures there are to the children.

Alcohol Consumption:
As with any office party or celebration, alcohol consumption can also be a significant safety and liability concern. In terms of EPLI, we all know that too much alcohol can lead a variety of inappropriate types of behavior.

This article comes AFTER the holiday has ended this year so hopefully you got through the celebration unscathed. As we approach this holiday season, we have to be mindful of the diversity in our offices and avoid any potential violation of our employees’ rights and privacy. This is a message we should be sharing with our clients, as well. The community wishes all of you a fun and safe holiday season.



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Girl in costume at Halloween party shot after being mistaken for skunk

English: Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis)


Girl in costume at Halloween party shot after being mistaken for skunk 10/21/2012 Associated Press

Talk about taking all the fun out of Halloween, this story takes the cake.  The shooting occurred in Freedom, Pa.   “Police say a costumed 9-year-old girl was accidentally shot outside a western Pennsylvania home during a Halloween party by a relative who thought she was a skunk. New Sewickley Township police say the girl was over a hillside and wearing a black costume and a black hat with a white tassel. Chief Ronald Leindecker says a male relative mistook her for a skunk and fired a shotgun, hitting her in the shoulder Saturday night. Leindecker tells the Beaver County Times that the girl was alert and talking when she was flown to a hospital in Pittsburgh, about 30 miles away. Her condition was unavailable. Leindecker says the man hadn’t been drinking and he doesn’t know whether charges will be filed.

When I first read this article, I had a lot of questions that came to mind.  
1.    How could anyone mistake a nine-year old girl for a skunk and NOT be drunk.  Unless they grow giant skunks in Pennsylvania, this makes no sense at all.
2.    Is it legal to kill a skunk in Pennsylvania which would then not make this some sort of criminal offense.  I goggled that exact question.  I am apparently not the only one who has researched that question as page after page of specific skunk killing questions and blogs appeared.  Summarizing the information, it appears that it is legal to kill skunks in some areas of PA; however, some species of skunks are protected by law.
3.    So,



now to the BIG question.  Is accidentally shooting a 9-year-old girl dressed in a skunk outfit covered on the Homeowners Policy when the homeowner is sued for all the medical bills and potential legal expenses. I would certainly expect that parents of the injured child will do exactly that.  

For the answer to the question, we must revisit an exclusion that has been the topic of many articles written by the Insurance Community Center—the Expected or Intended Injury Exclusion under the Section II Liability Coverage.  This exclusion has taken a major change in the most recent edition date of the Homeowners Policy and in the 04/91 edition date and prior was called the Intentional Loss Exclusion.  If we look at the two exclusions, we might answer differently as to whether the shooting would be covered.  In the 04/91 edition date the exclusion reads:
h.   Intentional Loss, meaning any loss arising out of any act committed:
(1)  By or at the direction of an “insured”, and
(2) With the intent to cause a loss
As we look at the older language, the second paragraph (which is connected by the word “and”) would imply that the insured would have had to intend to cause a loss in order for it to be excluded.  In this case, the homeowner intended to cause a loss to a skunk but had no intention of injuring a nine-year old girl.
The new “intentional act” exclusion is far more reaching and will effectively exclude many more situations, including that of the “skunk” shooting. The edition dates after 04/91 including the recent 05/11 reads as follows:
1.     Expected or Intended Injury
“Bodily injury” or “property damage” which is expected or intended by an “insured”, even if the resulting “bodily injury” or “property damage”:
(a)     Is of a different kind, quality or degree than initially expected or intended; or
(b)    Is sustained by a different person, entity or property than initially expected or intended.
However, this Exclusions E.I. does not apply to “bodily injury” or “property damage” resulting from the use of reasonable force by an “insured” to protect persons or property.

Clearly this is a much broader exclusion.  Notice that the two paragraphs are connected by an “or” rather than an “and” which means either paragraph (a) or (b) could apply for the exclusion to apply.  In this case, while the homeowner intended to kill a skunk but inadvertently shoot a nine-year old girl—there would be no coverage. Clearly the intent of these later edition dates was to exclude situations exactly like the one reported in PA.

As we look at these forms we always have to be various state laws and case-law in different states.  We all know that attorneys have a very different view on how these forms can be interpreted.  Once Florida law firm boosts on their site that they were able to recover damages from the Homeowners Policy for a gun owner who accidentally shot a woman that he testified he was merely trying to scare by waving a gun around her.  The contention here, must have been, that the homeowner was “intending” to scare and not “intending” to shot.  The newer edition date would be a much more difficult form language to contend with on this allegation.

The lessons learned in this case is that the intentional act exclusion is very broad-based; the injuries to the nine-year old girl will probably not be covered on the Homeowners Policy AND do not dress up as a skunk next Halloween.


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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Covered or Not Covered?


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Covered Not Covered? – Haunted Buildings

I couldn’t help myself with Halloween right around the corner to take a moment and

"Spider infestation" at a row house ...

ponder the question of whether buildings that are “haunted” are covered by insurance. As I started to think through the question, a lot of thoughts popped into my mind—many of which were weird but worth exploring. Some of the questions that came to mind were:

1. Is there any coverage for a commercial building that is “haunted” and if so how would the coverage apply to either the owner or the tenant of the “haunted” building?
2. If there is coverage, would there also be coverage activated by the Business Income form for either the tenant or building owner
3. Is there anything in the lease that would allow a tenant out of their lease if the building were haunted and their business was being directly affected by the fact they were losing customers?
4. Is there any coverage on a Homeowners Policy if the home is considered “haunted”?
5. Lastly, there is the question about coverage for “haunted” buildings/houses that are fabricated as an attraction. This could be a yearlong attraction or one that is specifically set up for the Halloween period.

I actually began thinking about this earlier this year when I visited my daughter in Los Gatos. We were on the main street, Santa Cruz Ave, and there was a mansion built in 1891 that was in 1917 was turned into a funeral home. My daughter told me the building was vacant because it was haunted. Three restaurants had opened in the home including the Chart House, Charts and the last one, Trevese; all of which have closed. For the last ten years there have been ghost sightings primarily with a little girl appearing and “one ghost apparently likes to run up a huge bar tab in the middle of the night on the cash register and turn the bottles around”. Curiously enough another restaurant opened up there about 8 months ago named Palacio. Sounds like a fun dining experience to me! (

Right after that trip I was having dinner with my friend in Yuma, Arizona and she pointed out the Hotel Lee that was vacant because they had been experiencing “paranormal” activity since 1917. Guests reported hearing strange voices, “someone” entering their locked room during the night and shook them or pulled the linens from the bed; an apparition of a young girl spotted carrying towels in the Lee’s upstairs halls. The hotel had been opened and closed at least three times over the years and opened last in the early 2000’s and closed again in 2007. Apparently the building is now on the national historic registry. (

Such stories come from all over the world such as the Wai’alae Drive In in Kahala, Hawaii that was closed due to local legend that a ghost of a faceless woman with long hair haunted the ladies’ room. The Wai’alae was located near an old cemetery

So what does this have to do with insurance? All of the buildings are vacant due to “ghosts”.

1. Is there coverage for the building itself due to ghosts being present and forcing it to be closed down?
Answer: No.
The problem with all of these examples is that the ghosts did no “damage” to the buildings. Basically they scared off the customers. Another issue, however, related the buildings is that there needs to be insurance maintained even though they are vacant to protect the interests of the insureds (owners, bank) and the policy has to be written in such a way to respond to losses on long-term vacancy. Vandalism is very common in these types of buildings often by curious people who break in to see if they can spot a ghost or two. Vandalism is typically excluded on vacant buildings. An example was a building, known as the Harlaxton House, where a couple went around the back of the building and forced open a window which caused the double oak window frame to collapse inside the building, causing $6700.00 damage. This would be covered if the building insurance included coverage while vacant.

2. Is there a coverage for the loss of income from the tenant or loss of rents from the owners standpoint due to it having to be closed?
Answer: No.
For the same reason. Most business income policies respond to “damage” to premises that then results in a loss of income or rents. In these cases there was no damage.
Now let’s change this up a bit with more destructive ghosts that are actually linked to damage to the buildings.

1. Some ghosts like to throw things around and if they do damage to the building that is over the policy deductible this should be covered by insurance. (No “ghost” exclusion on a Special Form Policy.

2. Ghosts also like to start fires and that is a “good” thing when it comes to an insurance policy paying a claim.

Most claims I have become aware of in this area relate to Homes where we could find coverage under the Homeowners Policy or a Dwelling Form. Fire is the most basic of perils and again there is no “ghost” exclusion. A case in point:

The claim occurred in October, 1988 as reported in the Chicago Tribune. The home was vacant since April 12, 1981 when the owners moved out on the advice of local police and fire officials. In all there were 26 separate incidents, 11 of which were witnessed by either police or fire investigators. There had been three fires in the home that month. Arson investigators ruled out any wrongdoing and in a period of 7 ½ months investigated arson, pranks, natural gas, methane gas, sewer gas and faulty electrical system and concluded there was no logical answer to the recurrent fires. The only “explanation” was paranormal activity or ghosts. Reason or no, Travelers Insurance Co. agreed it would pay off on the property if the house was torn down. The insurance settlement did not cover the cost of the house but the owners were left with no alternative but to bulldoze their home.

3. Some ghosts like to “hurt” customers which would be covered on the CGL
Accounts of people being physically injured by entities aren’t common, but they do exist — the entity usually manifests a furious energy that blasts people off their feet, causing them to bounce off walls. Injuries can also occur reacting to an entity; a trip and fall or taking a tumble down a flight of stairs may be accidental, but the trigger was the paranormal event. Entities have been known to trip or push people. When these attacks occur, serious injury is sometimes only narrowly avoided. There are reports too numerous to list of people being struck by flying objects that were propelled through the air by unseen hands.

The answers to this point as to whether there was “direct” coverage hinges on damage and the exclusion of any causation that would otherwise have been excluded. From a liability perspective, the CGL has a very broad response to bodily injury that occurs on the insured’s premises.
Now to our next brief discussion on how would a lease respond to allowing a tenant to cancel their lease if they were unable to operate due to “ghosts”. Needless to say, every lease is different. In general terms if we were looking at a lease on an apartment or house we would look at the “Habitability Clause”. For a commercial risk, such as a restaurant, we would look for a comparable clause and to language providing that the premises “have to be fit for the intended purpose” or the insured can vacate the lease. So, clearly in the cause of “ghosts” disrupting a business there are escape mechanisms that can be explored in the lease.
The last discussion in this article has to do with a much more basic and perhaps “real” insurance question relating to haunted houses that are created as attractions. They could be attractions that are open all year round or ones specifically created for the holiday season perhaps at a park, church, school or put on by a group to raise funds. The confusion comes because very few insurance agents sell special-event coverage. If your church or civic organization plans to run a haunted house for the next Halloween, the terror should come from the witches and axe murderers lurking inside — not from potential liability to your organization. There are companies that specialize in these types of special event policies. There are underwriting considerations for such events that companies would like to have avoided such as: stunts that create increased hazard, pyrotechnics, open Flames, live animals, trap doors, etc.

Some of the coverages that are included in these special event programs include:
• General Liability
• Liquor Liability
• Automobile Liability and Physical Damage
• Third Party Property Damage
• Rented/Owned Equipment, Property, Props, Sets and Wardrobe
• Participants & Spectators Medical

As all of you in the community read this article you have already celebrated your 2011 Halloween and we hope it was a safe and fun event. Look to our upcoming newsletters for more articles on the “weird and curious” aspects of insurance.



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Scariest Insurance Claims

Boo! The following are a series of the scariest claims our members have handled over the past.  Their spooky, scary and just downright frightening.  Do you have a scary claim? Share it!


Several years ago I insured a tavern.  One summer evening they left the front door open & a skunk came wandering in.  Rather than scat the skunk out the bartender filled a bowl with beer & put it down for the skunk to drink.  Well, the skunk took a liking to the beer & finished off 2 bowls.  At which time he started attacking several of the patrons, biting one of them.

The bartender panicked, called the police department who responded along with the fire department.  They contained the skunk nearby until the animal officer arrived who caged it and took it away.

The patron that was bit sued the tavern and the claim was paid.  I was thinking maybe the term “drunk as a skunk” came for a similar incident.

-J. Moran

Years ago, I wrote a multi family dwelling policy.  The building owner called me stating that his second floor tenant had something red dripping down from her ceiling on to her floor.  So the building owner went over to investigate & found his third floor tenant killed & had multiple forks (yes forks) & a screw driver stuck in him.

Obviously police were called & we had to find a special company to clean the bodily fluid that was also seasoned in working with the police Department.  As well as temporarily place the other building tenants in other residences.  Well low & behold, the murdered tenant was also an other commercial client of mine that owned a Cleaning company.  He was in the process of moving to Portugal & had originally made an arrangement to leave his business to his girlfriend, but then changed his mind & left it to his brother.  The girlfriend hired her friend to kill him.  The obviously un-skilled murderer realized that stabbing him in the head 4 times with a Phillips screwdriver still did not do the trick so he rummaged through the silverware drawer in the apartment & figured that every fork in the draw would eventually do the trick…  & left his victim with about 10 forks stuck in him all over his neck, head & chest…

A few days later,  before the girlfriend & her hired murderer were arrested, she came into the office seeking life insurance benefit’s that she thought  her now dead boyfriend he had taken out & she could receive .  Obviously nothing was paid out to her….. which didn’t help her legal bills I bet…..

-R. Stone

Insured called to ask if there was any coverage for her guest.  She was washing her glass eye and it fell down the drain.  Needless to say , no coverage on that policy!

Insured was driving away from a farm stand in Florida.  She caused a bad accident when she veered into the other lane of traffic.  The cause: her little round watermelon she just bought fell off the seat and jammed under the pedals causing the car to accelerate.  She tried to grab the watermelon and went into oncoming

Insured was driving in an icy parking lot.  His elderly girlfriend was in the vehicle.  They were talking and all of a sudden she did not respond.  He looked over and the door was open, she had fallen out of the seat and he was dragging her around the parking lot while she was holding onto the door handle.   The man never should have had a license at that point as he had previously backed over three motorcycles at a gasoline pump as he did not want to wait and also, in a separate incident, crossed a yellow line and ran his Cadi thru a group of motorcycle riders causing injury.  The girlfriend precluded the loss of license, finally!!

I have also had insured come home to find blood all over his condo.  Appears a duck got in and panicked, finally breaking its neck and dies on an antique white comforter.

-J. Macomber

I was investigating a third party claim in Marlboro Mass.  I had to visit a home that was located in the woods off rte 3.  After about a 10th of a mile walk, I was able to locate an old broken down house.  I knocked on the door and maybe a window or two.  As I was knocking on a door, I heard something running towards me.  I turned over to see what was coming, it was a 2000lb pig, which the owner of the home used a watchdog/pig.  I immediately jumped off the porch, land on my ass and started to run like Carl Lewis.  I ran so hard, I did a Dukes of Hazard over the front of my hood, landed on my ass again, before entering my vehicle.  I looked over to see where the pig was, he was right at my passenger door, looking right at me.  This is the honest god to truth.  I still laugh and get laughed at.

-R. Plante

In general, the scariest claims are those where the client calls in to report it and you realize they don’t have coverage (aikes!).  That being said, I do have one that comes to mind:

The scariest claim I am familiar with involves a funeral home/procession.  The church service was over.  The casket was placed in the hearse.  The procession heads down the road to the cemetery.  As the line of cars heads up a hill, the unsecured back door of the hearse comes open, the casket slides out and the vehicle the family was riding in hits the casket.  Probably the most horrifying claim the funeral home, the family of the deceased, or I have ever heard of.

G. Tapely

Last year my insured and his family went to a church Halloween Party. His teenage son was dressed as the Allstate Mayhem guy. While at the party their house was broken into, vandalized and computers and electronic games were stolen.

– P. Arnsparger

Many years ago a client called to delete /remove their daughter from the auto policy since she was away at college.  We discussed with her and told her not a good idea.  She left the daughter on the policy. A few weeks later.  The daughter was a passenger in a friend’s car at college.   The friend was driving too fast so the daughter told him to slow down.  He did not.  The daughter grabbed the steering wheel to try to take control of the car.

An accident happened serious bodily injury.  The daughter of our client was held responsible.   If our client had removed her/excluded her there would not have been any coverage.  So even though she was not driving the car she was at fault for grabbing the steering wheel.    Things happen and you most want to have the insurance in place.

-C. Schneider


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Scariest Insurance Claims Cont’d

My scariest claim was when I had an insured that could not speak English. Bedford County Tennessee is home

I'm Not Going Back Outside Till November!

to lots of Somalian Refugees.  This particular insured was in an auto accident and called me the agent instead of 911 and while they were on the phone the only thing I could really understand from him was “car bang” and “lady bleeds in the head”.  So once I could finally get his name out of him I asked the phone number to reach and him and to give me the location, which was in itself another scary thing…he was somewhere of course where he had no idea and but he did give me the Hwy number and that was it, finally someone showed up on the scene as they had called 911 and was able to speak to me after I asked to hand the phone to someone who could explain to me what was really going on.  Needless to say be careful when you give an id card to an insured at the sale of the policy by saying be sure to call me if there is an accident, needless to say some people be sure you include to call 911 first though.

-A. Vaughn

While working as a company adjuster in Southern California, one of our insured’s pulled away from a stop sign, directly into a path of a woman who was transporting eggs commercially in her station wagon. The impact was severe, & caused her to sustain multiple chest bruises, which required medical treatment.  When she was examined, the doctor’s found that she had stage II breast cancer, and was scheduled for surgery within the week.  Her station wagon was a total loss, both she & the station wagon were covered with broken eggs, but in the end the accident was more of a “treat” than a “trick”, as she made a full recovery from her breast cancer.

-K. Moldrem

While working as an agency claims manager  in Northern California, one of our clients, who was a manufacturer of over the counter nutritional supplements, discovered that they had mistakenly substituted niacin for niacinamide in several batches of one of their products.  They did some checking, & decided that most adverse reactions would be minimal, & consist of a “niacin flush”, which, although upsetting, would probably not be life-threatening.  They elected not to recall the defective product, but wait to hear from their vendors.  Less that six complaints were received, and only one customer required a brief hospitalization. Those claims were reported & handled under products liability coverage.

-K. Maldrem

My scariest claim would have to be the one where my phone rang and it was someone calling me from the job site where the person on the other end of the line said a dump truck had just slid down a hill because it got stuck in the wet mud…he watched a co-worker see the truck coming right to him…had no time to get out of the way…so he lied down and luckily the truck rolled right past him and he went uninjured.  Whew! That was a close, but scary one…

K. Silva

One of our insureds, a Funeral Director, had a body in the chapel for a wake/viewing, and one morning when he arrived back at the Funeral Parlour to get ready for the family, he opened the casket and the head of the deceased was gone.  During the night someone came into the funeral home, removed the body from the casket, removed and took the head and placed the body back in the casket.

-B. Cesar

Claimant was in the public showers when snakes came out of the drain. Claimant jumped up to avoid the snakes hit his head on the shower head, knocking himself out. Sued for mental distress and loss of consortium.

-D. Cotton

Back in 1995, I had a client that owned a motel. They took cash for a room let out to a young couple. After the guest’s departure, the housekeeper came out of the room crying and eyes watering like crazy from the fumes in the room. Evidently, the “guest” tried to manufacture drugs (meth) and poured the chemicals down the bathtub drain melting the fiberglass/plastic tub surround and smoldered for hours. Haz Mat was called in and our insured had a $100,000 + pollution cleanup claim and no pollution liability coverage plus several employees that went to ER for inhalation injuries. The ENTIRE section of the building had to be demo’d and rebuilt!

– E. Corrigan

Two scary experiences stand out in my career and they both traumatized me because I could relate them to my own children.  When my son was four years old and I worked a fatality claim involving a child his age. The little boy’s grandmother was watching him and stopped at a store for an item. She forgot that he was with her and followed her back to the car. She got into her car and put it into reverse. She heard a ‘crunch’ and got out to see what she hit. She found her little grandson’s head smashed by the tire of her own vehicle. All I wanted to do was to run home and hug my own little boy. My next scary experience happened when both of my boys were of driving age. I was involved in an investigation of an overturned jeep involving a DUI charge. The driver was ejected but the passenger was wearing her seat belt. She was hanging upside down in her seatbelt and her face was cut from above her ear, around the frontal scalp line to the other ear. The skin was peeled off of her forehead, nose and cheeks and was just hanging there. It was the most gruesome, heart wrenching fatality claim I’ve ever been involved in. Again, I was petrified at the thought of my children behind the wheel.

-J. Schutz

My husband worked at an insurance agency that had weekly producer meetings.  One Halloween, he dressed as an accident victim, complete with dripping “blood” from his face.  He sat in a chair in the coffee-room in the dark and waited.  One of the producers came in, flipped on the light and began making the coffee for the meeting, not seeing him.  He moaned to get her attention.  She turned, saw him, and ran out screaming “there’s a deranged man in the coffee-room”.  As she was running down the hall, she grabbed another female employee who was coming in for the meeting and literally dragged her down the hall screaming.  As they were getting ready to call the cops, a male employee who knew of my husband’s antics, said “don’t call the cops, it’s only Harvey”.  The woman who was dragged down the hall filed a work comp claim – she had some slight injuries because of the dragging – but her main claim was that she suffered emotional distress (mind you, she never saw my husband).  She had nightmares and, among other things,  refused to go into the basement in her home to do the laundry.  Her husband came up to my husband @ the company Christmas party that year, and said “If I would have been in the building, you wouldn’t have needed the costume!”

-R. Zook


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