Power Breakfast: Insolvent insurer leaves injured workers in limbo, Ga. nuke, spy pen, UPS, health care, Toyota

AJC reporters Peralte Paul and Carrie Teegardin have written compelling stories about a gaping hole in the state’s insurance program for workers who get injured on the job.

Paul reports on how Kenny Whitey’s life radically changed when he got injured on June 20, 2006, at Leon Jones Feed & Grain in Cumming. The accident left the 49-year-old, 6-foot-2 outdoorsman trapped in a body he no longer controls.

But the safety net for his medical bills — workers’ compensation — ripped apart in November when Whitey’s employer’s insurer, Atlanta-based Southeastern U.S. Insurance (SEUS), was declared insolvent and taken over by state insurance regulators, Paul reports.

SEUS’ failure placed Kenny Whitey and 87 other Georgians with workplace injuries in insurance limbo. None are covered by the state’s insurance insolvency pool.

Meanwhile, Teegardin reports that when SEUS’  sales tanked with the recession, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine audited the company and won a court order last year declaring it insolvent. The state shut the company down.

Oxendine in January announced a criminal investigation of  M. Clark Fain III, the company’s owner and chief executive.

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2 comments Add your comment

TnGelding

February 22nd, 2010
9:04 am

Well, the state needs to take immediate action to cover them. I’ve always felt it shouldn’t matter where you are injured you should be covered by your oither insurance, i.e. no workman’s comp needed.

Cr Spira

February 23rd, 2010
5:55 am

TnGelding ,you are exactly right. I am one of the87 others that was hurt in 2005, and went from a normal weeks pay of $1220.00 plus a vehicle down to $0 the first week of Dec. He still hasn’t the gonads to even offer any kind of alter explanation to those of us that have no other income to even buy the gas it took to get to the Drs. Social S Disability finaly has started netting me $104 a mo.after ins. and I feel very sorry those that truly are having to worry as bad as some I know are.
But the bottom line as I see it is, That office (or the state, same hog lot) makes co’s have workers comp, his office rules and regulates the companys that can buy a license from him and sell to unsuspecting companies that think they will be covered. The only concerned statement that has come from the commissioners office was that they took the ins. co’s annual financial statements at their word ! What do you need an insurance commissioner or their office for if that is the case? But please people ,he has no business in the same seat that Lester Madox sat in even if he is a MAD OX!!!