Policyholders Who Settled Through Mediation Worry They're Being Left Out

Randy Dartez went to a mediation hearing, to settle his disputed claim.

"We took 36, 37 percent right off the top if they would settle with us on what they owed us," says the St. Martin resident.

But he didn't like their counter offer.

"It was peanuts," says Dartez.

The difference of several hundred thousand dollars left Dartez little room for negotiation.

"After we stayed up there for about two hours, the people acted like they weren't interested in what we had to say or anything we had to prove to them, so we just walked out."

Public Adjuster Darrell Jones represents people like Dartez. In fact, through mediation, he just settled his neighbor's claim.

"We fought in mediation concerning wind and water and we came up to a figure," says Jones. "But I'm not sure that figure is true and correct."

The problem he says, lies in the information provided to him to arrive at that figure.

"We've come to a situation now based on Judge Senter's ruling and his refusal to sign the agreement that we may have been relying on information provided by insurance companies to settle those claims," says Jones. "And low and behold we may be finding out that the information provided to us to make a good judgement call on settlement may have been erroneous."

Jones says he believes Judge Senter is aware of the situation, and he hopes that everyone else involved in settlement talks takes them into consideration.

"We need to make it a level playing field based on the laws that are coming down from Judge Senter," says Jones.

That's what Randy Dartez calls a just settlement.

"I mean whether they settled or not, I mean, it's still money owed to them," says Dartez. "They should get it."