Insurer to Woman: Pay to Fix Car That Killed Your Mom

Company sought $6K in vehicle repairs, then drops case
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 15, 2012 12:24 PM CDT
An insurer told a woman to pay to fix a car that killed her mom.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – After a car fatally hit a 70-year-old pedestrian, the driver's insurance company sought payment to fix the vehicle—from the victim's daughter. Anna Cedeno, a recent cancer survivor, was walking to a bus stop when she was hit by a passing BMW, the New York Post reports. She died two hours later. Police didn't give the driver a citation, noting that Cedeno hadn't been crossing at a crosswalk or stoplight.

Cedeno's daughter, Monica, attempted to sue the driver for negligence—but before she could take action, the driver's insurer, PURE, fired off a letter to her lawyer. "Our investigation shows that your client was responsible for the accident," the letter said. "We now look to your client’s estate for payment of the damages to our policyholder’s vehicle." The company called for $6,245 in damages. Companies usually don't seek damages from victims, even when the victim is at fault in an accident, says Monica's lawyer. After the Post contacted PURE, it dropped the request, saying the letter "runs counter to our position" and shouldn't have been sent. (Read more insurance stories.)

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