Progressive may have just dug itself into a deeper hole.
After comedian Matt Fisher’s Tumblr post, titled “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court,” went viral on Tumblr and Twitter and the backlash caused a PR nightmare for Progressive, the insurance company finally responded to Fisher on Tuesday.
Progressive Claims General Manager Chris Wolf released a statement on the insurance company’s official website that offered condolences to the Fisher family but also denied that Progressive had any part in the trial that Matt Fisher mentioned.
“To be very clear, Progressive did not serve as the attorney for the defendant in the Fisher family’s favor just last week,” Wolf wrote, “He was defended by his insurance company, Nationwide.”
What they probably did not expect was even more backlash—or proof that they were wrong.
Wolf also promised to “reach a resolution,” but Fisher quickly wrote a rebuttal against Progressive’s latest claims. Fisher claimed not to be a lawyer but explained what he believed to be the legal defense in the trial and wrote that the attorney, Jeffrey R. Moffet, stated that he worked for Progressive Insurance.
“I wrote about this case on my blog because I felt that, in the wake of my sister’s death, Progressive had sought out ways to meet their strict legal obligation while still disrespecting my sister’s memory and causing my family a world of hurt,” Fisher wrote. “Their statement disavowing their role in this case, a case in which their attorney stood before my sister’s jury and argued on behalf of her killer, is simply infuriating.”
Fisher’s followup post was liked and reblogged 1,971 times and caught the attention of Wil Wheaton and John Green. Wheaton has stated that Progressive is “repugnant” and “unworthy of any decent person’s business” and Green accuses Progressive of breaking the first rule of the Internet: Don’t be a dick.
Details of the Fisher family’s case are public record from the Circuit Court of Maryland, and thanks to a tip from another Tumblr user, Fisher found proof that Moffet works for Progressive and that Progressive actually represented the defendant in the trial.
In fact, the name Progressive is listed seven times, and a separate note in the case file (dated May 19, 2011) states that the insurance company was authorized to represent the defendant.
It is this 19th day of May, 2011, by the Circuit Court For Baltimore City, hereby ORDERED
1. That Progressive Advance Insurance Company be and is hereby allowed to intervene as a party Defendant.
2. That Progressive Insurance Company is GRANTED all rights to participate in this proceeding as if it were an original party to this case.
Progressive Insurance has yet to respond to Fisher’s latest blog posts.
Photo via YouTube