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February 08, 2005

The Oldest Trick In The Plaintiff's Book

Brittany Spears is suing her insurance companies after they refused to pay her multi-million dollar claim.

Britney Spears has filed a $9.8 million lawsuit in New York to cover the losses for her canceled Onyx Hotel Tour.

Spears called off the 2004 tour after suffering a knee injury, but several insurers refused to make up the amount she lost because on the insurance applications, Spears checked 'no' to the question of pre-existing injuries, Celebrity Justice reports.

Spears had undergone minor knee surgery [on the same knee] five years before she signed the applications. She claims she simply forgot about the surgery because it was so long ago and she had fully recovered.

Now the lesson here is, don't lie on your insurance application. It's the oldest trick in the plaintiff's book: hide your pre-existing injuries. Usually it's done after the claim is made, but in Brittany's case, she did it on the application.

What's wrong with that? Well from a theoretical standpoint, it's borderline fraudulent. She offered to enter into a contract with the insurance company without disclosing information that would be directly relevant to the amount of premium they would agree to charge her. In other words, she was arguably ripping off her insurance companies.

People do this all the time. When i worked on auto cases for insurance company clients, the most common scenario was the person who lied about thier address to get a better rate. Other people lie about the length of their commute. Sometimes, after making a claim, they'd lie about who was actually driving the car, or whether a relative lived in the same house, in order to get around an exclusion in the contract.

When you're talking 9.8 mil, i can understand why the insurance company would use any defense they can find to get out of paying on the claim. Of course, that's what insurance companies do best anyways: weasel out of paying claims. It's all a part of the game.

Posted by annika, Feb. 8, 2005 |
Rubric: American Skankwomen & Legal Mumbo Jumbo


I'll remember that. So what's the BEST way to commit insurance fraud?

Posted by: Casca on Feb. 8, 2005

I work in property claims and the fraud is incredible. Some losses never happened, on others people figure they'll pad their claim a bit to get their premiums back.

Posted by: The Angle of Repose on Feb. 8, 2005

Is it just me or does Britney become even more white trash with each passing day?

Posted by: Micah on Feb. 9, 2005

Annika, you're so smart.

Jason H.
Austin, Texas

Posted by: Jason H. on Feb. 9, 2005

She must be new at this. Insurance companies don't like to pay claims. They are selling "peace of mind". Make a claim; get a cancellation notice.

In this instance, a relevant omission is a pretty strong defense to paying the claim. Most likely she'll get her premiums back, which is more than she deserves.

Posted by: shelly on Feb. 10, 2005

YEah, I'm sure that in her warped perception of the world, the laws governing fraud don't apply to her. She's an idiot.

(Psst...Hey Annika, nice to meet you...the Maximum Leader speaks highly of you. In addition, I hear you are a law student as well. My condolences;-)

Posted by: Sadie on Feb. 10, 2005