Allstate Begins Its Defense, Argues It Faced 'Roadblocks'

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Allstate Insurance began its defense yesterday in a billion-dollar lawsuit that challenges the company's claims-handling practices. The insurance company began by questioning the actions of the plaintiff's previous attorney.

Attorneys for Geneva Hager of Richmond have argued in a Fayette Circuit Court civil trial that Allstate's practices violate Kentucky's Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act. Her attorneys cite the two-year delay in settling her insurance claim.

A car in which Hager was a passenger was rear-ended by truck in Lexington in 1997 causing neck and back injuries.

The two attorneys that Allstate contracted for the truck's driver testified that Hager's previous attorney was uncooperative. They say he refused to agree to routine requests for medical records, forcing them to get two orders from a judge to get the records.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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