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In 2007, following lunch with a friend,
Tony Dane found his car missing when he returned to the parking lot where he parked his car. Dane promptly filed a claim with his insurance company, GEICO.
Forty days later Dane's car was recovered with significant damage. GEICO's solution to repairing Dane's car was to offer him an engine from a junk yard. When Dane rejected the junk yard engine and demanded GEICO properly repair his car, they denied his claim stating Dane stole his own car.
"GEICO put me through a living hell," stated Dane in testimony. "First they deny my claim, and then they have an investigator try to intimidate me. When that didn't work they tried to use the power of the
Nevada Attorney Generals office. They were willing to throw me in jail to save
$12,000 that is how GEICO operates."
As the sole custodial parent of his children, Dane feared for their future. Dane decided to take action. He hired an Attorney, who was also a friend, and sued GEICO.
However, after representing Dane for years against GEICO, his Attorney took ill and could not continue. "I was left without an Attorney and was in way over my head," Dane said as he reminisced after the conclusion of Monday's trial.
Dane decided to pursue the case as his own Attorney.
Last week in a
Las Vegas courtroom Dane squared off against GEICO in a modern day version of David and Goliath. During the six day trial, Dane took on GEICO Attorney
Jack Angaran, Senior Investigator
Jud Beardsley and Claims Handler Greg Balmer.
Using GEICO's own letters and the Nevada Unfair Insurance Practices Act, Dane laid out a case asserting that GEICO significantly increased his costs and denied his claim based on his supposed poor financial circumstances at the time of the claim. The jury of three men and five women sided with Dane handing him a victory in his lawsuit against GEICO in a 6-2 decision. Dane later stated that if he was a more knowledgeable on the legal process he could have convinced the remaining two.