Assurant Health CEO Don Hamm stumped by his own company's paperwork

This week's cover story, "You're in Bad Hands" (click here for the main article, and here for the sidebar), digs into the story behind the whopping $37 million bad-faith verdict a Boulder jury recently awarded to Jennifer Latham, a mother of four who was severely injured in a 2005 auto accident -- and then had her insurance taken away by Assurant Health because she supposedly misrepresented her medical history on an application she submitted months earlier.

Among other evidence, the jury viewed excerpts of Assurant Health CEO Don Hamm's testimony before a House subcommittee last June.

Hamm told the assembled his company's applications ask straightforward, easy-to-understand questions. But when Michigan representative Bart Stupak asked him to answer one of the questions on the application -- well, see what happens starting about ninety seconds into the video embedded above.

For more of Hamm's duel with Stupak, go here. And don't miss the testimony of Peggy Raddatz about how Assurant Health (also known as Fortis and Time) pulled her brother Otto's health insurance during chemotherapy because of notes in his prior medical records about gallstones that Otto's doctor never told him about.

For more on the jurors' decision, check out our previous blogs.

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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast