Regulatory Reform

In addition to testifying on multiple occasions before various committees of the Colorado legislature, Samuel G. Livingston works closely with the Colorado Division of Insurance to curb insurance abuses. The circumstances surrounding Mr. Dale Davis and Med Ops Management involved a company that arranged for independent medical examinations on behalf of insurance companies and either pressured doctors to change the results of their examination findings or outright forged reports to reflect false outcomes of independent medical examinations. Those reports were used by insurance companies to deny claims based upon inaccurate information created or coerced by Med Ops.

By letter of February 7, 2007, this office referred the matter to the Colorado Division of Insurance and met with Commissioner Marcy Morrison regarding the circumstances. Within one month of that report and meeting, the insurance commissioner's office passed Bulletin No. B-5.20. This required that physicians preparing IME reports must authenticate and physically sign all reports, as opposed to allowing the use of electronic signatures that had been a method used by Dale Davis of Med Ops to change reports without a doctor's knowledge.

This office corresponded again with the Division of Insurance and pointed out that the provisions of Bulletin B-5.2 would not be adequate to prohibit practices involving direct communications with doctors in an effort to coerce the physicians into changing their medical reports directly. This method had been used by Dale Davis to influence medical findings. The correspondence of May 9, 2007, to the commissioner's office also pointed out that a simple solution to the problem would be to adopt prior regulations from the Colorado No-Fault Act, and make those regulations uniform as to all independent examinations conducted in the state of Colorado. In response, the commissioner's office promulgated Bulletin No. B-6.2 that provides in pertinent part that "Effective immediately all communication between the independent medical examiner, the insured or the insurer's representative.... pertaining to the substance of the IME report or examination shall be in writing with copies sent to the other parties. No communications may take place between any of the aforementioned parties without the participation of all parties..."

Most property insurance policies contain appraisal clauses that either require or provide an optional appraisal provision for the parties to resolve their disputes. During the course of involvement in multiple disputes concerning the appraisal clause, this office encountered many instances of insurance companies selecting appraisers whom they either had an inappropriate relationship with, and/or thereafter undertook inappropriate communications with, to influence the outcome of the appraisal process. Those matters were reported to the Division of Insurance by correspondence dated December 9, 2008, with documented examples of abuses in the appraisal process. In response, the commissioner's office promulgated Bulletin No. B-5.26 that provided that "It has come to the division's attention that insurers may not be selecting 'fair and impartial' appraisers. Furthermore, disputed claims subject to appraisal are being delayed and insurers are not communicating in a fair and consistent manner, causing significant harm to Colorado consumers..." The bulletin went on to impose the requirements of the Uniform Arbitration Act, C.R.S. 13-22-201 et seq. surrounding the standards that must be complied with in terms of selecting an impartial individual by both parties to serve as an appraiser, and also precluded ex parte communications between any of the parties and their selected appraisers during the course of an appraisal process.

Exemplar Deposition Questioning

The Law Office of Samuel G. Livingston, P.C., places great emphasis upon conducting depositions during the course of discovery in most bad faith and personal injury actions. Mr. Livingston has provided multiple lectures to professional organizations surrounding bad faith and particularly deposition style and substance throughout the course of his career. Mr. Livingston is known in the insurance industry for his aggressive and thorough style of deposition questioning, and most significant, depositions in a case are both recorded stenographically as well as by videotape. Moreover, cases are typically presented at the settlement portion of the litigation by way of preparing a summary of multiple depositions.

This summary of deposition transcripts was further edited and presented as part of plaintiff's opening statement in the matter of Peressini that resulted in a $3 million jury verdict. Portions of this transcript were also utilized by "when pigs fly" relative to its media coverage surrounding "when pigs fly," which exposed American Family's business practices centering upon a Colorado State Business Plan that attempted to reduce claims payouts by approximately one-third over a four-year period based upon arbitrary considerations unrelated to the needs of the insureds under the contracts of insurance. This demonstrates a presentation that was actually shown to the jury at the beginning of the Peressini jury trial and was highly influential in establishing in the jury's minds the type of conduct that American Family engaged in even before the presentation of evidence began during the plaintiff's case-in-chief.