CHICAGO (CBS) — It all started with a broken ice maker, and hopefully will not end with a broken bone.

A Chicago grandmother said she is afraid of slipping on her own kitchen floor after a faulty home repair. And to add insult to potential injury, she is one of more than 100 people having trouble getting a claim processed by the same company.

As CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reported Tuesday morning, Chiquita D. Miller is no longer fast on her feet. She walks with a cane and wears an alert button, in case she trips again.

“I have to be careful when I walk here, because this might come up,” Miller said.

She has fallen twice in other parts of the house. And last fall, the kitchen became a danger zone, but Miller can’t avoid it.

“Because I have to eat, wash dishes, cook,” Miller said. “It’s hard to walk on that tile because it slides because it’s all loose.”

A refrigerator repair gone wrong left water all over Miller’s floor. She contacted Sears, which directed her to a third-party claims administrator called Sedgwick.

“I put in a claim in November of last year, and that’s too long,” Miller said.

And she’s been navigating the wet floor for seven months, wondering if the wetness is getting worse.

“It can still cause like molding and weathering and tearing the longer that it takes,” said Miller’s granddaughter, Angelique Thomas.

Thomas said she and her grandma provided Sedgwick pictures, along with statements and repair estimates.

“We followed through on all of their requests to be able to rectify this problem,” Thomas said.

But what is the response now? Thomas said, “I wish I knew!”

Apparently, Miller and Thomas are not the only customers having trouble communicating with Sedgwick. The company holds an F rating from the Better Business Bureau.

CBS 2 found allegations of stalling, claims of rude hanging up, and multiple complaints of messages that go unanswered.

Sedgwick does respond – apparently by copying and pasting the same thing.

“Overall, the breaking point is, we’re way past being cordial at this point,” Thomas said. “We need answers and we need them now.”

Magically, Sedgwick called with an update 11 minutes after CBS 2 inquired about Miller’s floors. Progress at last, more than half a year later.

While Miller’s mobility may be slow these days, the senior citizen is quick to hold feet to the fire.
After that phone call, Miller was offered and accepted a settlement. We will follow up to see if she receives that check.

Sedgwick tells CBS 2 the grandma’s claim had been “on hold and closed in error:”

“We have been working with Chiquita Miller on her claim, which had been on hold and closed in error as we were waiting for support documents to finalize the claim. The claim has been resolved to the satisfaction of Ms. Miller. We are not able to provide specific details as doing so would be a breach of our policies and legal obligation to maintain client confidentiality.”

 

A Sedgwick representative had no comment on other complaints about a lack of communication.

Sears was involved in the initial refrigerator repair and refused to discuss Miller’s case or its continued relationship with Sedgwick.

Lauren Victory