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ALLSTATE LIABLE FOR MISLEADING CONSUMERS-WSJ


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Posted by tonyb on January 26, 2001 at 06:28:48:

ALLSTATE LIABLE FOR MISLEADING CONSUMERS-WSJ

NEW YORK, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Allstate Insurance Co., a unit of Allstate Corp., has been ruled liable for
misleading consumers by advising them not to retain a lawyer for personal-injury claims against the No. 2
U.S. car insurer, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition Thursday.

A pamphlet called ``Do I Need an Attorney,'' which the Northbrook, Ill.-based company began sending out in
1995, was intended to ``create confusion in the minds of its third-party claimants,'' a Pennsylvania judge
ruled, the paper said. The pamphlet told victims, who were non-Allstate customers, that disputes would be
settled faster without a lawyer, and that Allstate would provide them with their own claims representative, the
Journal reported.

Pennsylvania's attorney general brought the suit in 1998 and a hearing to determine civil penalties against
Allstate is due for February 15, with Attorney General Mike Fisher seeking up to $1,000 per violation, the
paper said. There are thousands of violations involved in the suit, the Journal quoted a spokeswoman for
the attorney general's office as saying.

Allstate intends to appeal the decision, saying in a statement it respectfully disagreed with it, the paper said.

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