The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 28, 2012

Nearly one year later, woman wrestles with insurance company

— Like other survivors of the May 22 tornado, Teresa Newton rode out the storm in the closet of her house. When she emerged, she found the closet was about the only thing left at 2219 Wisconsin Ave.

A firefighter by trade, Newton instinctively knew what she had to do.

“She did search and rescue in Joplin in the hours after the tornado,’’ said her mother, Jan Finney, of Joplin. “She worked here for 12 to 16 hours a day for two weeks. That’s all she did for two weeks.’’

Finney, knowing her daughter would be unable to take care of her own affairs because she was helping with search and rescue, reported her daughter’s loss to the insurance company, Missouri Farm Bureau.

Said Finney: “She was out helping other people when she was a victim herself.’’

It would be the beginning of a second storm for Newton that has lasted nearly a year and is still unresolved.

Newton was paid $103,500 by the insurance company for her house, a claim she settled on, but she believes she should receive more than $77,000 for her contents. She has been battling Missouri Farm Bureau over her contents since the tornado.

“They have paid $61,607 for the contents. They still owe me $16,017. I want the rest of my money,’’ Newton said. “I want what I was paying for. I had them for 11 years. I did my part.’’

Newton has lodged a complaint against her insurance company with the Missouri Insurance Commission, contacted the Missouri Attorney General’s office for guidance, and last fall even hired an attorney to help her with her dispute, although she has not filed a lawsuit.

In a desperate move to help her daughter, Finney recently attended a dinner of Missouri Farm Bureau officials and managed to personally hand to a company vice president an envelope containing copies of records and letters that pertained to her daughter’s claim. Finney said she has not received a response.

Estil Fretwell, director of public affairs for the Missouri Farm Bureau, said they have five cases related to the Joplin tornado that remain unresolved. The company had about 470 claims in Jasper and Newton counties stemming from the May 22 storm.

“I really can’t comment on any case that is pending or talk about the specifics of a problem,’’ he said. “We have tried to bend over backward to get these Joplin tornado claims settled, but sometimes there is a disagreement and it takes a little longer to get those resolved.’’

Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter