Karen C. is a long-time client of Cancer Legal Care. Since 2019, Karen has worked with our Managing Director, Julie Olmsted, on some common challenges that most cancer patients face, like estate planning and financial issues.
In October 2021, Karen was in active treatment for lung and brain cancer. Like many immunocompromised cancer patients during COVID, she was spending a lot of time in her home. When she noticed some plumbing issues, she contacted a local energy company to get them fixed. But the company made the problems much worse. Their mistakes left inches of standing sewage in her basement.
Karen is tenacious and resourceful, so she reached out to them several times to get them to fix their mistakes, and even filed a claim. But they repeatedly told her it was not their fault, or their problem. They eventually stopped responding to her altogether. Since she couldn’t afford cleanup help and didn’t want contractors in her home because she was immunocompromised and COVID was rampant, Karen was forced to clean up the sewage back-up herself.
But then, she called Julie, and Julie got upset, too: “Karen’s situation was ridiculous and unfair, and we absolutely had to help her fix it.” Julie worked with Karen to build a timeline of what happened, the names and contact information of everyone involved, and estimates of the financial damage to her basement. Julie sent a letter to the company’s senior vice president and general counsel and demanded $2,000 to cover the cost of the damage, work done, and replacement furniture. She also copied the claims specialist who had told Karen it wasn’t “our problem.”
The day after receiving the letter, the claims specialist called Karen and said they would pay her in full. She replied, “You shouldn’t be talking to me! Talk to my lawyer!” and gave him Julie’s number.
Karen received the check within two weeks. She called Julie and said,