Monday, December 8, 2008
San Antonio jury awards $1 million verdict in Allstate wrongful termination case
My client, Gravely & Pearson LLP, won a major case against Allstate insurance. Below is the press release about a case involving the insurance company and Fred Klecka, their former SIU investigator.
A San Antonio jury awarded a $1 million verdict against Allstate Insurance Company in what attorney Matthew Pearson termed a case where his client was forced to choose between his freedom or his job.
Fred Klecka, a former Allstate special investigation unit (SIU) adjuster uncovered fraudulent claims handling by a co-worker that occurred over six years and involved more than $1.3 million. The fraudulent activities led to a criminal investigation conducted by the FBI.
“Our client was told not to cooperate with the FBI or he could lose his job. He chose to disregard the illegal instruction and continued to assist the FBI,” Attorney Marc Gravely, Pearson's partner, said after Monday's verdict in the 150th District Court of Bexar County.
Klecka helped the FBI with their investigations of Roland Villarreal, an Allstate contractor, and Chandler Bruton, a claims adjuster. Both were convicted two years ago in federal courts for insurance fraud.
“I appreciate the fact that the jury recognized that our client was wrongfully terminated However, I am especially gratified that the jury decided to punish Allstate for their conduct,” Pearson said. “Hopefully, this will prevent another Allstate employee from being placed in the same dilemma.”
The jury awarded Klecka $337 thousand in compensatory damages and another $500 thousand in punitive damages.