AIG Accused Of Screwing Over Flight 1549 Passengers


How much bad publicity can one company reasonably withstand. In addition to all the money its taken from the US taxpayer, AIG has been in hot water for everything from executive pay to improper trading to corporate junkets.

And now it’s being painted as a villain in the feelgood story of US Airways 1549, the plane that was heroically landed by Captain Sully on the Hudson on a frigid day early this year?

How does AIG fit in? Well, they’re US Airways insurer, and as such, it falls on them to pay claims for lost personal belongings and certain medical treatment.

But, as NYT explains, this insurance kicks in when the airline committed some kind of negligence. And, really, negligence is just about the last word that anyone’s used to describe flight 1549.

AIG (AIG) has paid out some claims, but (like any insurance company) it’s looking for any reason to adjudicate a decision in its favour, like when the person making the claim lost a bunch of fancy clothes, or a lady, Ms. Sosa, who is worried that she’ll have post-traumatic stress disorder, because it one point during the crash landing she thought she was leaving her husband and baby daughter to drown.

So AIG is getting all kinds of hell for this, especially since they’re on the dole:

A.I.G. has told Ms. Sosa and other passengers that it would pay for therapy, but only for three sessions.

“It’s like telling me, ‘We aren’t responsible for this. This is your trauma. You deal with it,’ ” Ms. Sosa said.

In one exasperated conversation with an A.I.G. claims official, she invoked the taxpayer bailout, saying she doubted Congress and the Obama administration would approve of the stonewalling. The official “told me their division didn’t get a cent from the bailout,” she said.

Alright, so how soon before hearings begin?

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