Motor vehicle crash injury expert witness Michael Freeman testified Tuesday that assumptions in an Allstate claims handling manual about how much force passengers endure in low-speed wrecks have no scientific basis. “These numbers are impossible, and they are just made up,” said Freeman, an epidemiologist at Oregon Health and Science University testifying in the second day of a $1.425 billion civil trial in Fayette Circuit Court challenging Allstate Insurance Co.’s claims handling practices. Kentucky.com also reports:
The document estimated the G-force placed on passengers and the speed of a crash based on the type of property damage to certain vehicle models. Freeman said the figures are significantly underestimated and scientifically impossible. ‘This is obviously a bogus document,’ Freeman said.
Freeman testified as an expert witness for Geneva Hager of Richmond, who claims that Allstate purposefully dragged out her injury claim in a 1997 wreck. Her lawyers argue that Allstate’s claims handling practices, implemented in 1995, violate Kentucky’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act. They are specifically attacking how Allstate assesses minor-impact soft-tissue injury cases, or MIST claims.