Just stepped out of the shower and nearly went through the floor. I reported the questionable support structure under the bathroom floor to Los Angeles County Public Works, Building and Safety department several weeks ago. Because they are involved with the scam, they are ignoring my requests for service and leaving me in an unsafe condition because they do not want to require the contractor, who allegedly pulled the permits, to make the necessary corrections to this unfinished job.
I am now certain this scam involves Building and Safety inspectors and administrators. Had I not persisted in demanding reinspection of this mess that somehow passed final inspection, only to have the Certificate of Occupancy rescinded and a list of the same corrections that needed to be made when the first corrections notice was issued in 2017. Another was issued in 2018, but it was set aside for 18 months with a hope that I would just go away or would be intimidated into silence by the contractor.
The contractor is suing me for defamation, claiming I have cost him one million dollars in damages. I have filed an anti-SLAAP in response. I guess he has been designated to handle me while Building and Safety, Department of Insurance, Safeco/Liberty Mutual close off communication and ignore me.
I experienced similar treatment in the military. I reported sexual harassment to an officer. Next thing I know, he is transferred. I was prevented from getting to the Inspector General, so I stayed a one-woman protest, refusing to do anything except go to class until I was allowed to report what women were suffering at the hands of the Sargent Major in charge of the trainees. We were short-timers. It was easier to stop the behavior while we remained rather than let me report a lifer. Might mess up his retirement.
I now know with certainty that this structure was built without plans, with second-rate materials, and improperly with the blessings of LA County Building and Safety. The project manager who actually worked on this unsafe structure is dead. I think the dead have no rights, so it is safe to name him: Steve Willsey. I never would have known he died had not the contractor who is suing me called to tell me. He also told me I would never get the money he was given by the insurance adjuster. I think I was told about Willsey and was supposed to be afraid. I was threatened. I felt the contractor was attempting to intimidate me, just as he is doing by filing this frivolous lawsuit that violates my right to free speech.
I may not be able to sue this gaslighting crew, but I can let as many as can and will read this know that they need to be wary about insurance claims adjusters, building contractors, insurance companies, and public agencies that are supposed to stand for the consumer but don’t.
I sit here, sweltering in preparation for 3 days of over 100 degree heat, in an unfinished rectangular coffin, built by Vince Paglia, paid for by Kent Stiles of Safeco Insurance. I’m writing this so that if I perish in this heat, someone will know who caused my death.
This nightmare started in 2016, when I filed a legitimate claim on my homeowner insurance. A tree limb fell on my bedroom, cracking it open at the seams. My bedroom was the only room damaged in the incident, that occurred on Earth Day that year.
It took 19 days for Safeco to respond to my claim. I started with adjuster Trevor Haaswyk, who eventually sent an engineer and adjuster to assess the damage. The engineer’s report stated that there was only damage to my bedroom and that my workshop had suffered superficial damage. The damage could be cleared up with $48,000. Two checks were cut for that amount and I thought the matter concluded.
Then, Kent Stiles took over as my adjuster. He sent Vince Paglia and Nicole Mazandarani to my home to discuss repairs with me. Paglia, president of Protech Construction, was misrepresented as a preferred vendor by Mazandarani. She told me that I would receive best quality service, guarantees of the work, and that the work would be supervised every step of the way. She also lied to me and told me that the contractor I was considering was not to be trusted, that I should use Safeco’s Innovation program for best results. Having never filed a claim like this before, I took her at her word given she represented the insurance company to which I paid premiums for 5 years.
Never trust the claims adjuster. Never. What they don’t tell you is claims adjusters and contractors, in California, engage in a confidential relationship that leaves the consumer completely out of the loop if that is what they want to do. They can engage in all sorts of criminal activity and never need to disclose any of what they are doing to the policy holder. While insurance companies, again in California, are required by law to provide the consumer with a complete copy of their claim file, those documents can be falsified and made to totally disappear from the view of anyone other than the adjuster handling the claim.
It took three years of research to discover that Stiles changed the identifying number of my claim file. Claims are recorded in databases that maintain your history for seven years. If you look for insurance, the companies will search your history in the claim files and charge you accordingly should they find negative information. My damage was caused by high winds that caused the tree limb to break and fall on my house. Stiles reported the damage was caused by water. Water damage will get you charged an arm. leg, and ovary for coverage. Additionally, there were three more claims listed in my history when I had only filed the one.
Stiles, Mazandarani, and Paglia are directly responsible for my living in an unfinished, unsafe property. The entire claims department at Safeco are indirectly responsible because they have been covering up the fraud that has been committed. Also responsible is the Department of Insurance agent, John Mort, and the ombudsman, Therese Gallagher, who also covered for Safeco and told me to go find an attorney to try and prove the fraud.
Consumers should not have to rely on agencies that have been corrupted to report corruption to the State’s Attorney General and District Attorney. These entities will shut the consumer down, relying on the Department of Insurance and the Contractors State License Board to report malfeasance. They will not take the consumer’s word for anything.
In this matter, the CSLB has been the only agency to help somewhat. They were able to force Paglia to pay $20,000, but this payment was based on accepting this structure as appropriately built. This box did pass inspection, but I’m only finding out now that Paglia submitted different plans to Los Angeles County Public Works to get permits for a complete rebuild of my home. Paglia’s name is listed as the owner of my property on the demolition receipts, which were falsified as he stated there was a concrete foundation in existence when there was not. He went on vacation in Croatia after filing thses documents because for some strange reason Public Works does not maintain records of rebuilds of residential property. Those documents are discarded after 6 months, but commercial property building information is retained indefinitely. Paglia knew how things worked, but I didn’t.
I was packed out of my house for 18 months when the original contract I signed said I would be out for only 6. Because only the adjuster handling the claim saw any paperwork regarding my claim, it did no good for me to contact the Department of Insurance to initiate a complaint about how the claim was being handled. I had no idea that Stiles was orchestrating the destruction of my home, and submitted his name as the person to contact about the claim. I thought the field adjuster, Mazandarani, was the one doing crooked things. But it was Stiles. He has the power of the purse. He has the power to cut checks, and he cut big ones for himself and Paglia.
My claim went from $48,000 to $430,000. I never saw the checks cut for Paglia until this year. I never signed them. This exhorbitant cost, larger than the terms of my insurance policy, is listed in my claims history. I have attempted to have all the claims removed, but Stiles is in complete control of my file and none of the over 30 people I have spoken to at Safeco have once taken any notice of what I say is happening to me.
I am certain that mine is not the first time this fraud scheme has been run by Stiles or Paglia. There are too many people involved who have stalled and covered for the insurance company. From Public Works to the Department of Insurance to the Contractors State License Board, people are covering for Safeco and Vince Paglia. Liberty Mutual has thrown an awful lot of money around, so much that there is not an attorney in the state who will take my case. Believe me, Beloved, I have been searching for help for the past three years. No one will help the consumer, not even Merlin Law Firm, specialists in this sort of case.
If you have Safeco Insurance, get rid of it before it is too late. Never have any contractor work performed by Protech Construction, owned by Vincent Paglia.
If I perish in the heat, please, make certain to bring this missive to the attention of Governor Newsom, Mr. Lara, the AG, and the DA. I have contacted all of them over the past year and either received no response or was rebuffed.
Peace, Beloved, and may you never suffer at the hands of agencies you are supposed to trust, agencies that are should have a fiduciary responsibility to you.
As of Earth Day tomorrow I will be living in this crime scene for over a year and have been attempting to resolve my problem with Safeco Insurance for three years.
Safeco adjuster Kent Stiles continues to fail to provide me with requested documentation. Vince Paglia lies to the Contractors State License Board about plans that never existed.
I am unable to get corresponding, itemized statements like the only one I have that corresponds to an $80+K check for materials and services not provided here, but paid for by Kent Stiles.
I am exceptionally tired of living in this crime scene. I think I have succeeded in having my property taxes lowered as I was finally able to get the assessor to come back out here and measure the property. When he came here before, he didn’t measure. He took pictures and the contractors word for the dimensions of the structure. The contractor told him the structure measured 816 sq ft. It actually measured 585 sq ft.
Not only are the insurance company and contractor crooked, the Los Angeles County Building and Safety seems to have some issues with their building inspectors. Not all of them are honest dealers. I had to write an online request to get the appraiser to come back here. He took a page from Stiles and Paglia and ignored my first three calls. Sending written notification prevented him from ignoring me any longer.
I am so angry about this situation that I could not sleep at all last night. Three years of claim mishandling and abuse from Safeco and Protech. Insurance companies have a fiduciary responsibility to their consumers. I should not have been less well off than I was before I filed my claim for damages. I should not have a smaller house with no amenities. I should not have to continue being a customer of Safeco, but I have already experienced Stiles’ manipulation of the information regarding my claim; he attributed my claim to water damage when it was wind that blew a tree limb onto the roof of my bedroom, the only room damaged in the incident. Stiles and Paglia destroyed my undamaged workshop, the entire front three-quarters of my home, all of my landscaping grown to support pollinators. I had to look at my front yard, barren and without any growth, or color for such a long time that I refuse to cut the grass. I prefer looking at green to brown.