Insurance company pays injured girl after Go Public steps in, customers threaten to leave
Mother of girl injured playing soccer can’t disclose settlement amount, but says she is 'very appreciative'
One of Canada's largest insurance companies has done an about face and offered payment to the mother of a girl who lost eyesight after a serious soccer accident.
Nancy Desrosiers was featured in a CBC Go Public story yesterday, after Industrial Alliance insurance refused to honour an accident insurance policy that would have awarded a $50,000 payout.
Desrosiers' daughter, Emily Laprise, lost a significant portion of vision in her left eye after a hard hit by a soccer ball detached her retina and ripped a hole in the retinal lining.
Desrosiers had an accident insurance policy for her daughter, but the insurer said Emily didn't qualify because her eye injury was not sufficiently severe.
She has patches of black in the lower half of her field of vision, and the upper portion is blurry. When her eye wanders, Emily has double vision.
- Been Wronged? Contact Erica and the Go Public team
More than half a million people viewed the article online, and many took to social media to express their outrage over Industrial Alliance not paying.
<a href="https://twitter.com/goattrash">@goattrash</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/cbcErica">@cbcErica</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/IAcanada">@IAcanada</a> Absolutely. It reflects badly on your company to treat one of your clients so shabbily.—@young_lodgician
Do not buy insurance from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IndustrialAlliance?src=hash">#IndustrialAlliance</a> because they will cheat you. <a href="https://t.co/NEBahH8Ur4">https://t.co/NEBahH8Ur4</a>—@AuntRube
<a href="https://twitter.com/cbcErica">@cbcErica</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/cbcgopublic">@cbcgopublic</a> absolutely terrifying that a Canadian co did this <a href="https://twitter.com/IAcanada">@IAcanada</a> should offer an unconditional apology & $ to the family—@mayank_anand
Industrial Alliance responded on social media quickly, tweeting that it was "...in discussions….to resolve this issue in the most positive way."
The company has now offered a settlement, the terms of which cannot be disclosed.
"Our clients' satisfaction is our number one priority," says spokesperson Pierre Picard. "Our actions are based on that priority."
"Industrial Alliance listened to my concerns and showed genuine effort to make me a satisfied customer," says Desrosiers. "We have come to a mutually agreeable solution, which I'm very comfortable with, and for that I am very appreciative."
Speaking with Go Public, Desrosiers became teary, saying she was overwhelmed by the public support she and her family received.
"It was unbelievable to see so many people [on social media] saying something had to be done," says Desrosiers.
Desrosiers says the money will be used to provide special prescription glasses Emily will now permanently require, and to help fund Emily's goal of one day becoming a doctor.
Submit your story ideas
Go Public is an investigative news segment on CBC-TV, radio and the web.
We tell your stories and hold the powers that be accountable.
We want to hear from people across the country with stories they want to make public.
Submit your story ideas at Go Public.
Follow @CBCGoPublic on Twitter.
With files from James Roberts