Insurer pays off lawsuit with thousands in coins

ROBERT JABLON
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An insurance company settled a lawsuit with a Los Angeles man by dropping off buckets full of thousands of quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies, his attorney said Wednesday.

Andres Carrasco, 76, filed a lawsuit in 2012 against Adriana’s Insurance Services, a Rancho Cucamonga-based company.

The East Los Angeles man alleged that during an argument over why the company had cancelled his auto insurance, an agent assaulted him by physically removing him from the office.

The company reached a settlement in June and last week delivered partial payment in the form of a check, but also tried to leave buckets of loose change in his lawyer’s East Los Angeles office, attorney Antonio Gallo said.

Gallo said he refused to accept the delivery because he couldn’t verify the amount in the buckets. But, he said, the cash was left the next day when he was at court.

His assistant said eight people came in “and just dropped it off in the lobby,” Gallo said.

Gallo, who wouldn’t disclose the settlement figure, estimated there may be $20,000 or more in coins.

“There’s maybe 17 buckets of coins,” he said. “They probably (each) weigh anywhere between 70 to 100 pounds. I’m assuming, because I can’t lift them.”

One bucket is entirely full of pennies, he added.

Gallo said he didn’t think the payment was illegal in California but it is unique.

“It’s insulting to my client. He’s 76 years old, he just had a hernia operation. Come on,” Gallo said. “He feels that he wasn’t treated as a human being.”

“I am disappointed by the way Adriana’s treats their customers and the elderly,” Carrasco told KNBC-TV. “We might be poor, but we are people too.”

A call to the insurer’s attorney, Edvin Flores, wasn’t immediately returned

Gallo said he has been in contact with the company’s attorney and would like to see the insurer issue a check for the rest of the settlement and take away the coins by Friday. Otherwise, he will have to hire someone to count the stash.

“If the money’s short, then we’ll probably go back into court” to ask for the full amount, along with the cost of counting the coins “and hopefully some sanctions,” Gallo said.

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