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in demanding reinspection of this mess that somehow passed final inspection, only to have the Certificate of Occupancy rescinded and a list of the same corrections that needed to be made when the first corrections notice was issued in 2017.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.
When all regular avenues of complaint have been used and found inadequate there remains another avenue: Claim for Damages.
Before a state or local governing body can be sued in small claims court, a Claim for Damages must be filed. If the body denies the claim, one can then proceed to small claims court to sue. If the claim is accepted, one must wait for the investigation to be completed. If the outcome of the investigation is unsatisfactory, then suit can be filed.
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.
When Vince Paglia, president of Protech Construction, and Nichole/Nahal Mazandarani, a senior adjuster at Safeco Insurance, came to my home to discuss the timetable of repairs, I thought they had been sent to repair the damages to my bedroom, caused by a tree limb falling on my house on Earth Day, 2016.
It took Safeco 19 days to respond to my claim that I entered 15 minutes after it happened. Trevor Haaswyk was the adjuster who responded and he sent an appraiser and an engineer to my home to assess the damages. The first adjuster responding requested the engineer’s assessment as he could not assess any structural damage that was not readily visible. The engineer assessed the damages and wrote a report that totaled the damages at around $48K. There was no damage to my storage/workshop, no damage to any other room in my home except the bedroom. The bedroom definitely suffered structural damage, but because my home was handbuilt in 1923, it withstood the weight of the wild pecan tree that fell on it. If you know anything of wood, you know pecan is dense and heavy.
When Mazandarani shows up with Paglia, they told me repairs could not commence because I had no foundation. The entire house would have to be rebuilt. Mazandarani called me a couple of days after this pronouncement to tell me the rebuild had been approved. They would begin after Paglia returned from his vacay in Croatia. He said he would start with the “garage”.
There was never a garage on this property. There was a workshop for metal and woodwork that I expanded to accommodate storage needs. When we needed off-street parking, the drive in front of the house easily accepted two full-sized vehicles. No matter how often I said I didn’t have a garage and didn’t want my workshop torn down, as it wasn’t damaged, I was told that LA County Building and Safety and Planning required me to have a garage and covered parking. A driveway had to reach from the sidewalk to the garage.
This scheme to rebuild my home with only an authorization for repair was signed off on at every instance of money disbursement by Kent Stiles of Safeco. Stiles took over my claim from Trevor Haaswyk and would never answer me when I asked what happened to Haaswyk’s findings.
I have been suspicious of the behavior of my insurance provider and their contractor since March 2017. By then, they had surpassed the 3-6 month time estimate in the “contract” I signed with Protech. I felt I was being subjected to bad faith. It took quite some time to find the department to report problems with claims, but I was told the Presidential Service Team could assist me.
Through first Fernando Moreno and then, Olivia Casarez, both of the PST, I was subjected to further stalling and attempts to call me off the complaint. Ms Casarez would report everything I said to Kent Stiles, who would then alter his documentation to counter whatever my complaint may have been. Ms Casarez openly mocked me when I suggested an audit needed to be done on all claims handled by Stiles. He is much too practiced at covering up, stalling, making paperwork, like police reports, disappear. The narrative that had included rebuild suddenly went to repair only, and it was as if Protech had not been the one to rebuild this house, but came in only to make repairs about items I said were missing or never installed on this site. This is not the first time a consumer has been subjected to this skimming scam, this fraud, that seems to be a systemic failure of Safeco Insurance.
Throughout the process, I noticed there were never any plans drawn for a rebuild, that the contractor was building the house from a poor drawing of my home that didn’t take into consideration the angle at which my lot lies. And that is only the first of many wrongs that occurred here.
The trap pictured above was put in as a replacement for my handbuilt 1923 Rambler. It is not up to Code, yet it passed inspection. It lacks a back door, venting, access to the crawlspace or attic, my recessed lighting, my shelves, a closet, a mirror and vanity in the bathroom; to list more would bore you. The fact that they effectively killed all of my flora, and my library, that they destroyed my kitchen with its built-in, floor to ceiling shelves, I will never get over. I’ve been stuck in this trap a year and still cannot use my stove because there is no connector to the gas line.
Move-in ready. I’m supposed to be grateful for a “brand new house” according to Mazandarani. The project was abandoned when I walked into it. When the Porta Potty is gone, the project is done or abandoned. It looked abandoned to me, having no fencing, no porch, not even a real step, only a plywood board in front of the only entry or exit from this junk.
I want this house torn down. I had no choice in it, was lied to about it, had my home of 60 years taken from me. I now have a property that is worth less, taxed higher, is smaller, and in no way suits my needs. Much of my property that was in storage stands outside because I cannot fit it into the house or the garage. If everything came out of my home, why can’t it go back in?
Most disturbing is that Kent Stiles has been investigating himself. No matter to whom I reported the fact that he was robbing me, everything comes back to Stiles. He has no manager, no supervisor. Neither CEO of Safeco or Liberty Mutual seem interested in knowing they have an embezzlement ring in their Claims department. I think I have spoken to no less than 20 people at Safeco about this matter. Stiles had a security block on my file to prevent any one other than himself from seeing my claim file. The Presidential Service Team is a joke. Consumers should not be subjected to this treatment. Don’t insurance companies have a fiduciary responsibility to their customers? Guess not.