Where does one report racketeering?
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in demanding reinspection of this mess that somehow passed final inspection, only to have the Certificate of Occupancy rescinded and a list of the same corrections that needed to be made when the first corrections notice was issued in 2017.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.
I am certain it is not clear to you the extent of my loss. The lemon tree that took 19 years to bear fruit; buried atop my son’s placental home; planted by my mother who died in my son’s nineteenth year in her bedroom, in the house I’d lived in all my life-she knew him, she helped birth him, she drove like a javelin to Santa Monica, to the converted farmhouse that served as a freestanding birthing center, ensuring his literal birth in a barn. This lemon tree was cut down…by the subcontractor…who is now dead.
My son grew up in that house. He called it a crapshack because he was, in childhood, quite gangling and sometimes ungainly. He was forever stubbing his toes. It was a cottage. It couldn’t be helped that he was a bull in a china shop. Nevertheless, that crapshack was his childhood home and the satellite around which we wove our travels in the world.
We built, my mother and I, a library in that house. Venice thrift shops provided much of our largesse. We collected, and read, hundreds of books. Destroyed, now, many of them, the bookcase standing in the yard with many of my other klediments.
I knew the man who built my crapshack, by hand. He was a JW. His name was Elmer Lambert. His wife’s name was Ima. I remember they had a daughter, but might also have had a son. The house was a one-bedroom cottage with hardwood floors, built in cabinetry, a counter between front room and kitchen that could be used as a table, serving area, and lookout point. The front door boasted a barn-door type window, giving an unimpeded view of the front and side yard. The doorway was wider than average.
All the doors in my house, save the front entry, opened to the left. Behind the door to the bedroom, Mom had built a linen closet to house our dishtowels, cuptowels, bath towels, sheets, small blankets, some small kitchen appliances. The left-opening door, when left open, provided cover for the cabinet.
I had to step down once into the kitchen. I had a white ceramic sink that was deep, and boasted knobs for hot and cold. It was a piece of a countertop, cookware storage, and under the sink storage unit. Facing the sink, my stove was to my right. I had hooks, hangers, cabinets on the upper walls to the left; a hanger for mugs, a couple of places to hang dish towels. Had a mirror mounted in there, and a light. The large rectangular window above me provided morning light from the east.
I love to cook. My son loves to cook, but he has to have a whole lot of room and prep area. Me? I can whip up something palatable with a couple of burners, but it gets monotonous. I’ve been living like poverty for over a year now with a gas stove that is not connected to the gas line because the contractor left the line capped, providing no connector. There are many gas lines under this structure because a gas line was run to operated the gas dryer I do not have and to the hot water heater that was placed alongside the “driveway” because this structure was built without plans.
The flooring in the bathroom is mushy and feels about to give way at any moment; there’s a leak somewhere, likely because the shower was not installed properly and was not sealed. I have no warranties, even thought I was promised three years of warranties by Safeco Liberty Mutual if only I worked with their preferred contractor.
I had a back door, through which I could generate cross-ventilation, get to my back yard easily. I still have the t-poles for my clothesline, but my undamaged workshop was torn down to make way for a “garage”. There was a scheme to turn my verdant paradise into a heat island, bordered by asphalt and cement. My yard was full of green and flowering plants, including succulents, bougainvillea, lavender, night-blooming jasmine, honeysuckle, a variety of roses. This in an area zoned for livestock and farming. I live in the County of Los Angeles. There are horses here. There are chickens here. There are nurseries here. But the County is gentrifying, which brings me to my property tax status.
In California, in Los Angeles County, in 2015, my property taxes were ~$650 per year. Now, in 2019, my property taxes have tripled. This job, done by Vince Paglia, was accomplished by tearing down my 1923 hand built Rambler home. I had a workshop in the back yard with a waist-high, full-length hard wood worktable. There were shelves that I remember saving magazines in because of the vertical dividers in the cabinet. There were shelves and cubbyholes on the walls. There was a great, heavy wooden drawer, that I possess still, that fit into the worktable. Vince Paglia tore down my workshop, the unpermitted expansion that was used for storage to put up a parking lot and I don’t eeeven have a car.
I miss Segovia. Segovia was a death cactus that grew in a ring of tires. Segovia was very tall, perhaps 7′-8′, and bloomed at night. When in bloom, Segovia’s scent wafted over the yard, blending with the night-blooming jasmine, sometimes the honeysuckle and lavender very faintly. Segovia provided most of the privacy in my back yard, grown along with the honeysuckle that grew on the fence. When Mama Gin lived next door, she was a homeowner who worked for the IRS. Her son served in the Air Force. Her daughter was a flit. She and Mom shared the care of the trees planted along the property lines between the houses. Mr. Lambert took care of most general maintenance, but Mom was pretty handy with tools. Mom and I took care of the gardening and yard maintenance when I was growing up.
I remember Mr. Lambert gave me my first nickname. He called me Sputnik because I was his satellite as he worked about the place, prattling to him with my 2 or 3 year old self. Ima, Mrs. Lambert, always offered me fruit. I grew up kindly towards the JWs because I grew up with experience of the Lamberts.
I used to play and work in my workshop. I haven’t been able to use my spinning wheels because the inadequate garage is packed to the gills with my household goods. I haven’t been able to unpack because the house is now smaller, configured differently, has not even a closet, though a one-bedroom, one-bathroom was paid for. More than $80K was given to Paglia for goods not in this structure. I wish I did have the vent-free, infra-red heaters for which he received pay. I wish I had my back door. I wish the attic vents had been installed instead of the fire sprinklers for which I have no instruction manual. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with these things because I never had them in my home before.
Vince Paglia and Kent Stiles of Safeco Liberty Mutual have put me in a bad way, I tell you what. I learned from reading the legal bric-a-brac that your insurance provider is not supposed to leave you any worse off than you were before you filed your homeowner’s claim. Maybe this is why Stiles has changed my claim number from 12-digit number to 22-digit number, and when I call to inquire about this claim number that I don’t recognize, no one else recognizes it either. This brand new claim number is recorded on my claim history with the databases that record such data and hold it for seven years, along with the date of loss of every claim I’ve ever allegedly filed with Safeco Liberty Mutual, the cause of said loss, and the amount paid out to mitigate the loss. This brand new to me claim number even says my loss was caused by water. Imagine, the insurance company is recording false information; my loss was caused by the wind.
If my claim settled and paid out $48K under one claim number, why are $430K and $439K recorded under that new claim number as the amount paid out on those official records? Those records can impact the premium I’ll have to pay for insurance when I manage to escape from Safeco Liberty Mutual.
I have referred to the scam through which I’ve been put as GASLIGHTING. I hate being gaslighted, especially by a corporation that should have a fiduciary responsibility towards me, the insured, who paid premiums, on time, since 2011. Instead of being appreciated, I’ve been robbed.
I believe Safeco Liberty Mutual and Paglia and Associates do not appreciate the severe loss they have caused me. I think the dead contractor kindled the wrath, though….
I lived in my home for over 60 years. Then, I made an insurance claim with SAFECO INSURANCE. Instead of simply repairing the damage done by the tree falling on my bedroom, they told me lies and stole my home through destruction. SAFECO INSURANCE, PROTECH CONSTRUCTION, LOS ANGELES COUNTY BUILDING AND SAFETY are all involved in this theft by deception.
Protech Construction was found to be in violation of the Professional Conduct Code, and was ordered to pay me for damages assessed by the Contractors State License Board. Protech did not pay as ordered. I filed a claim against the contractor’s bond, and they are now stalling me about payment.
If you are insured with SAFECO INSURANCE or have any contracting work scheduled with PROTECH CONSTRUCTION owned by Vince and Kimm Paglia, you need a new insurance company and a new contractor. SAFECO INSURANCE does not have any oversight. There is no one in charge there. The Presidential Service Team is no joke as it does not assist consumers resolve problems with claims adjusters. Claims adjusters and contractors maintain a confidential relationship that disadvantages the consumer. Once they close ranks, no help will be forthcoming from within the company. Consumers are forced to seek assistance from the Department of Insurance, but they do not help consumers get answers to pertinent questions and they make no demands of the insurance company to provide consumers with answers to legitimate questions about the handling of a claim.
SAFECO INSURANCE appears to have every law firm capable of fighting them on retainer. Not even PUBLIC COUNSEL would help me bring a case against the insurance company because of conflict of interest concerns. Unless one has an incredible amount of money, there is no legal help available. Stalling, along with lying, is the chief action employed in the commission of this scam. SAFECO INSURANCE repeatedly notified me that I could not file a lawsuit against them if it was not brought within a year of the commencement of work, hoping to convince me that the statute of limitations would expire and I would be without recourse. That might be so if I was only looking to prove bad faith, but this is fraud and a civil suit can still be brought.
CAVEAT: AVOID SAFECO INSURANCE AND PROTECH CONSTRUCTION, PERPETRATORS OF A CLAIMS SCAM THAT DEPRIVES CONSUMERS OF THEIR HOMES AND THE INSURANCE CLAIM FUNDS NECESSARY TO PROPERLY RESOLVE A CLAIM.
Who insures you against your insurance company? I paid for insurance against hazards like theft, water damage, tree limb fall, a toilet seat crashing through the roof. If I had enough money, I could insure against earthquake. I’d be paying big premiums for protection against an infrequent, but potentially very damaging event. I shoulda been a risk analyst.
Who insures against the risk of the insurance company itself? Who knew Safeco/Liberty Mutual would dispossess me? I could never have foreseen myself without the only home I’d ever known. My major concern when the tree limb fell on my home was not becoming homeless, but I am homeless nevertheless. Why am I homeless indoors? Because I should have bought insurance against the hazard of my insurance company. I don’t know who sells it. Do you?
I’m afraid to write that Vince Paglia, the president of Protech Construction, the contractor who lied to my face, stole my home, stole $80+K, and claimed he didn’t know me, is about to be cited by the Contractors State License Board. He may lose his license if he doesn’t pay me what he owes.
I’m afraid to write that Kent Stiles, the claims adjuster who works for Safeco/Liberty Mutual, has not yet been stopped. He has kept my claim file in suspense for a year. No matter who I speak to at Safeco/Liberty Mutual, no matter how many times I tell the story of how Stiles has falsified documents, lied to me, manipulated numbers, I get sent right back to him for resolution. Makes no sense. I am very concerned about customers of this insurance company. They have too many complaints, always said to lowball all estimates, poor general customer service, and the slowest response rates in Christdom.
I am afraid no longer. Funny how that writing what you fear works.