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What I’ve Lost

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….

Building Contractor Scam · Civil Court · Criminal Organizations · fraud · Homeownership · Insurance · Insurance Claims · Insurance Scam · Law · Paralegal Studies · trauma

PTSD Blues (Public Service Announcement)

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.

AS

Question: When Your Insurance Company is the Biggest Risk, Who Insures You?

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?

AS

What are You Afraid to Write?

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.

AS

SAFECO INSURANCE PAYS PROTECH CONSTRUCTION FOR WORK AND SERVICES NOT PERFORMED

On 6 March 2018, Kent Stiles paid Vince Paglia $80K+ for services not provided at this site, for materials not installed at this site. Over the course of this claim, Vince Paglia was paid with 7 checks. I have an itemized statement for only one check, the last one collected over my objections that the document was false. I requested the prior statements, but neither Stiles nor Paglia will provide them, opting to ignore me and my complaints and their blatant fraud.

Avoid Safeco Insurance and Protech Construction. I don’t know who is running this company that owes a fiduciary responsibility to clients, but anyone dealing with these companies should find alternatives as quickly as possible.

AS

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had to take a break from thinking about Safeco and Protech. It is bizarre to me that I am having such a weird experience with an agency I am supposed to trust(?) to do the right thing because I have faithfully paid my premiums to Safeco since 2011.

I received a letter from Cheryl Flaherty, Consumer Affairs Manager for Safeco/Liberty Mutual. “We have conducted a thorough investigation and have determined that your allegations are unfounded and of no merit. We request that you cease and desist from any further comments or allegations related to any employee of Safeco Insurance/Liberty Mutual Insurance Company that was involved in the adjustment of your claim.”

Now, cease and desist raises my hackles. Cease and desist is usually a legal demand. Coming from a Consumer Affairs Manager, it reads like a threat. Cease and desist, or what? What about this thorough investigation? How could it be thorough if you never spoke with me?

Flaherty goes on: “Please be aware that as of the date of this letter (21 February 2019), First National Insurance Company of America/Safeco Insurance will only respond to issues related specifically to your claim and specifically only to new information related to the adjustment of the claim.”

For the past year, I have been doing nothing but attempting to get questions answered about my claim. It has been an exercise in futility as the only person apparently qualified to work my claim, the man who refuses to answer my questions, is the same man who orchestrated grand theft. I cannot understand how and why this nightmare experience continues.

All of the questions I had about why it took 19 days to get a response to my initial report of the damage to my home caused by a tree that fell during high winds; about why proper plans were never drawn for the rebuilding of my home; about why the contractor, Protech, was paid for goods and services not provided or in evidence on this toft.

Today, as a birthday present to me and in compliance with Flaherty’s instructions, I sent a request for the itemized statements or invoices submitted by Protech to Safeco for payment. I have one statement and it is for the items that do not exist here but for which Safeco paid Protech in excess of $80K. This was the last payment. Six others preceded it. I should have those itemized statements, doncha think?