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Ward's Case [Reply][ Digest 1]


#1
  I have a page devoted to insurance co.s defrauding their
customers. There's a lot of legal links on it as well as
general info.  It sounds like this is an out and out bad faith
accusation, where they know it isn't true, just to get out of
paying a just claim.  This is not unusual.  State Farm has been
known to move the time of an earthquake backwards a year in
order to deny a covered claim by saying it came from an
earthquake (uncovered). I'd like permission to add your story
to my page.  I am constantly doing research on insurance law,
cases, etc., and if you tell me the sorts of info you need to
help you out, I can be looking for it as I research. To
everyone,  read your policys carefully, video everything you
own to prove you owned it, save ALL receipts, and do NOT have
a robbery or covered loss over $5000 or, in spite of all due
care, you may find your homeowners is worthless unless you are
prepared to sue, and then fight their appeal when they lose.

Fred Ward replies:

Thank you for your response. I also found the actions of State
Farm very strange. It seems that they are operating with two
policies at the moment. They have a trigger amount (and we
believe that is $50,000 now) that they question no matter the
circumstances. And they also seem to have a new policy of
fighting claims in court rather than paying them. One official
there told a friend of mine that State Farm is the second largest
employer of attorneys in the USA and intends to use that force to
deny more and more claims. This does not seem like the kind of
place one would like to entrust his jewelry insurance.

   The impression that I got from reading the announcement was
that the question about how you could have missed the fracture
was rhetorical, and was meant to imply that you could not have
missed it, therefore it didn't exist when you received the
stone.  That's one person's interpretation, for what it's
worth. At least this one (me) read it the way that you believe
to be the truth.

Fred Ward responds:

I appreciate your response about the emerald case.

I believe you are right and that rhetorical question was what
was intended. Still, I want everyone to be as clear as possible
on all the facts of this case and to understand its importance to
the trade.

Fred Ward

   I am very sorry you are going through this unfair
accusations.  I am hoping that Mr. Beesly or as is it Mr.
Beastly, does have the professional courtesy to answer your
challenge.  If he doesn't then the jewelry industry will have
to understand that he is a liar.  I hope that the National
jeweler and Mr. Beesly's beastly behavior of promoting
themselves at your expense will not be successfull.  Their
success will only hurt the jewelry industry in the long run.   
I would like to know if you can take Mr. Beesly and the
National Jeweler to court and sue them for $25,000,000 dollars.
From  Surbhi 

Fred Ward responds:

You certainly raise an attractive possibility.

At the moment I am so busy defending myself against unfair
charges and trying to deal with the enormous judgement against me
that I am not thinking too far ahead toward future lawsuits. All
the attorneys who have called and to whom I have spoken assure me
that I have just case for at least 4-5 actions in the future. For
now I just want to resolve this one, for me and for the gem
trade.

Fred Ward

   Fred, unfortunately, this is the luck of the draw. A case
like this was bound to come up sooner or later and
unfortunately fate picked(on), you! I'm not a gemologist but I
have a question. Is it not possible to pull-out some of the
fracture filler and do a chemical analysis on it? It would seem
that through pinpointing certain anomolies in it's composition
you could find out the manufacturer, when that batch was made,
if it was sold to a second party for treatment and if it was
even possible for the stone to have been treated before you
acquired it. Again, my knowlege of stone treatment is very
limited, but perhaps this is an avenue for you to persue if you
haven't already. Good luck!  Roland

Fred Ward responds:

You raise interesting questions.

You can be sure that once we get our hands on the emerald again
much work will be done with it. Remember that we have not had
control of the emerald and could not do any testing on it since
May 10, 1994, when we returned it to the woman who broke the
stone. All that has happened to the emerald, which means breaking
the gem, filling it, and having sizing beads put into the ring
mount were all done while under the control of the ring’s owners.

Yes, we are very interested in testing the fillers to see
exactly what is in there. Beesley hypothesized under oath that
the emerald was fractured from birth and came from the ground
fractured… and that the crystal was filled with opticon at the
mine in Colombia. The assumptions are absurd and there is no way
that anyone can truthfully make such a statement. So we would
like to know what really is in the emerald. And if we are forced
to buy it back, as seems to be the case, you can bet that there
will be plenty of testing on this emerald.

Fred Ward

       Just another instance where the law allows discretion
to a judge with no discretion. Dangerous! But not surprising.
Read a few court cases. And people wonder why we have such a
litigious society. Who said you can't get something for
nothing? Too many times in our court system somebody tells a
few lies and collects big. If anyone can figure out anything to
do about cases like this, count me as a supporter, to say
nothing about being an admirer, too.

Fred Ward responds:

I watched the O.J. Simpson trial with great interest, never
imagining that such a similar abuse of the legal system could
ever directly affect me. Now I see that anyone anywhere can be a
victim. This was a judge and a jury running out of control. Now
the only question is how long and how much money will it take to
straighten out the mess.

Fred Ward

   I read the on the Ganoksin site (before it was
broadly announced) and must reassure you that I understood the
gem was remarkably flawless (for an emerald) when it was
received by the customer.  One of my first questions after
reading the was, "How can the insurance company
hold the jeweler responsible when, by the customer's own
admission, they damaged the stone?" I feel badly that the
introduction of this topic might be interpreted to read that
you sold a flawed product.  The on the Web itself
is clear that was not the case, and that the customer admitted
to fracturing the stone.  The nicks on the gold work also seem
to confirm a rough life in this ring's short existence. How does
the customer explain the filler and the sizing beads in the
ring?  Do they state that you performed that work and nobody
else has worked on it?  From your statements, it seems clear
that you performed no work on the piece after it was sold? 
What is the customer's (as opposed to State Farm's) position? My
comment was "it seems the only crime here was to let an
irresponsible customer own a remarkable gem like that!" Best of
luck, please know you have all our support here!

Fred Ward responds:

You are correct in every one of your assumptions. We hammered as
hard as we were allowed to do in court on the issue of the sizing
beads and the filler. Obviously, from pictures and eyewitness
testimony from 6 credible witnesses the ring and emerald were
delivered without a fracture and without fillers.

When directly confronted about the sizing beads and filler, the
owner of the ring, Dorree Lynn, a Washington, DC psychologist,
responded to the question, “Who put in the sizing beads?”

“Well, Fred Ward I assume.”

And now I ask you and the court system, what do you do with a
witness and a plaintiff who answers like that? Taking them out
and beating them to near death is no longer in vogue.

But there is no doubt in the minds of anyone close to this case
that the ring and its emerald were in the sole custody of the
Lynns between May 10 and August 8, 1994. On May 10 the ring left
our hands without sizing beads and on August 8 it showed up at a
jewelry store in DC with sizing beads. And no one but the Lynns
had control of the ring in the interim. When I examined and
photographed the emerald in May 9, 1994, it had the fracture
Dorree Lynn caused, but that fracture was clean and without
filler. On August 8 the fracture was much larger than when I
photographed it on May 9 and the fracture was willed.

How indeed can we as the jeweler and seller of this ring be held
responsible for what happened to the emerald and ring while in
the control of others? It should be impossible. Yet a DC judge
and jury decided otherwise, and my partner and I as well as the
gem trade as a whole will suffer from this decision for a long
long time.

Fred Ward