Monday, May 9, 2011

How Adults With Autism Are Viciously Bullied By ( Nationwide ) Insurance Companies In Florida -- Navigating The Neuro-typical World

As I previously explained to my readers, I suffered a severe brain injury in a January 2008 auto accident when my seat restraint broke on impact when the car my husband was driving was rear-ended at a railroad crossing.

The brain injury was cascading at the time my Autism - brain injury neurologist, Michael W. Hoffmann, M.D., was forced to abandon my medical care by the University of South Florida as a result of Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company's bad faith in refusing to pay my medical bills / benefits under our uninsured / underinsured motorist policy, thereby subjecting me to an ongoing cascading severe brain injury without timely medical care or treatment.

Nationwide's refusal to provide effective communications accommodations to my severe underlying Autism and severe brain injury aphasias has allowed substantial Autism bullying of myself and family members to continue unabated for over three years. This is what happens to adults with Autism with markedly limited verbal abilities -- it isn't all a cakewalk like some of the higher functioning Free-range Aspergians want the Media and Autism community to believe.

I am posting the letter I have just sent to Nationwide's Florida registered agent to obtain their claims representative's Florida Insurance License number, because it's bad enough I have been Autism bullied for three years, but worse, my search on Florida Dept. of Financial Services and Florida Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation turned up NO license under the claims representative's name as required by Florida Statutes, chapter 626 -- in other words, I have the legal right to find out if I was Autism bulllied by an unlicensed claims representative. I anticipate posting further updates as I learn why this has happened to me.

The impetus for my present letter and demand for the claims representative's Florida Insurance License number was being handed a print letter this morning which my husband graciously converted to accessible formats, whereupon I learned the claims representative sent the letter to my mother-in-law and called my mother-in-law (my husband's MOTHER) his wife, and attempted a low-ball settlement with HER not ME, when I am the injured person and she was not even involved in the accident, and I am his wife and she is his MOTHER.

I have promised others in the Autism community to share my journey through life as an adult with Autism, and especially, significantly some of the Autism bullying, un-navigable Neurotypical social structures, and way in which adults with Autism are denied equal opportunity, benefits to which we are entitled, and mis-treated throughout almost EVERY aspect of our lives. This is just yet another of the typical ways in which adults with Autism continue to be abused by the Neurotypical social structure.

This is my letter I placed to send today (graciously converted to paper print format by my husband, typos in the original corrected):

Mary Katherine Day-Petrano
11502 SE US Hwy 301
Hawthorne, FL 32640

May 9, 2011
Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, Registered Agent
P O BOX 6200 (32314-6200)

Charles Law
Claims Dept.
Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company

Re: Demand pursuant to Florida Statutes, chapter 626 for Florida License name and License number for Nationwide’s claims representative, Charles Law

Dear Nationwide Registered Agent & Legal Counsel:

I was a passenger in an auto accident on about Jan. 2008 in which my seat restraint broke and caused me a severe cascading brain injury. Your insurance company and claims representative, Charles Law, knew that failure to timely treat a brain injury has previously resulted in a Tampa jury verdict in a similar case for appx. $217 million. See Among other things, my brain injury has caused and/or aggravated an aphasia-type communication injury.

Myself and members of my family have repeatedly been subjected to harassment, abusiveness, financial exploitation, and bullying by Charles Law, who asserts he is your claims representative and has been assigned by your company to handle my uninsured/underinsured motorist claim, Nationwide Claim No. 77-09-N-786-01052008-01, date of loss: 01-05-2008.

Among other things, medical bills totaling almost $100,000 for my medical care until the time it was abruptly cut off and my severe brain injury was abandoned by your company and my medical doctors because Charles Law refused to pay for my auto accident caused / aggravated medical care were signed for by Mr. Law’s office in Des Moines, Iowa from the location where he sent all of his communications with a Florida Statute printed on the bottom of them – those medical records that Mr. Law’s Nationwide office signed for constitutes a declaration against interest (admission) that he received the contents of those medical bills that (1.) informed him and Nationwide that I have a cascading severe brain injury following the car accident, and (2.) informed Mr. Law and Nationwide that I am age mid-50s and my first name is Mary, not Yolanda.

I also filed a Notice of Intent to Sue and Bad Faith Notice against Nationwide and Mr. Law with the Florida Dept. of Financial Services, at which point Mr. Law responded by deliberately lying to the Dept. to falsely represent that he had never seen the medical bills his office Nationwide signed for. I have not in any respect waived that Notice of Intent to Sue / Bad Faith Notice, and Mr. Law let it expire the 60 day time period to cure without making full policy limits tender.

Mr. Law never questioned or objected to any of my medical bills.

I never informed Mr. Law I was represented by an attorney or legal counsel.

Mr. Law approved my settlement with State Farm for their liability involving the auto accident. Nationwide’s claims representative under the PIP part of the policy paid my medical bills until the PIP was exhausted. At those times, Mr. Law never objected to my being the injured party and claimant injured in the Jan. 2008 auto accident or that my first name is Mary, NOT Yolanda.

Nationwide previously retained legal counsel and obtained the Marriage Certificate filed with the Pinellas County Clerk of Court in a 2004 auto accident case documenting that David F. Petrano and I are married, as husband and wife. Our Marriage Certificate was at all times within possession of Nationwide and, further, readily available to Charles Law at the Pinellas County Clerk of Court.

Yolanda Petrano is my husband, David F. Petrano’s mother; she is NOT his wife. Charles Law knew that in Florida, a son cannot become married to his mother.

Yolanda Petrano is appx. 91 years old, very frail, broke her back from a fall, and is not only elderly but in frail health. Donna Ross is my husband’s sister, my sister-in-law, and daughter of Yolanda Petrano.

As soon as your Nationwide claims representative, Charles Law, learned from his office having signed for my almost $100,000 in medical bills apprising him I have a severe cascading brain injury, he began harassing, abusing, attempting to coerce, and financially exploiting myself, Yolanda Petrano, and Donna Ross to intentionally commit a fraud on me and evade Nationwide having to pay for my severe brain injury under the UM policy.

Donna Ross informed me (and states that she would testify) that she repeatedly told Charles Law that I was David F. Petrano’s wife, and that Yolanda Petrano is his mother.

Nevertheless, undeterred, Donna Ross told me Charles Law repeatedly kept calling her and sending letters demanding to have Yolanda Petrano sign to settle my above-referenced brain injury auto accident claim, and demanding that either Donna Ross or Yolanda Petrano sign a power of attorney over me without my consent to authorize them to agree to settle my claim for medical treatment for my severe brain injury for a bad faith low-ball offer.

Donna Ross told me Charles Law was trying to manipulate her elderly mother, Yolanda Petrano, an act that is prohibited under Florida Statutes, chapter 415 (adult elderly abuse). Donna Ross told me Charles Law was incompetent, belligerant, abusive, manipulative, and coercive and had caused both her and Yolanda Petrano a great deal of grief and emotional distress. Neither Donna Ross nor Yolanda Petrano were involved in the Jan. 2008 auto accident subject of my above-claim.

Donna Ross is a disabled American receiving Social Security Disability SSI benefits and is also protected by Florida Statutes, chapter 415 as a adult vulnerable disabled person.

Likewise, as a result of my underlying Autism and Jan. 2008 auto accident cascading brain injury, I am an adult vulnerable disabled person protected by Florida Statutes, chapter 415. I am also protected by the effective communication mandates of Titles II and III of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. Secs. 12131-12134 & 12181-12188, and 28 C.F.R. pts 35 & 36, and have, in fact, received effective communications and other accommodations from other entities previously.

On numerous occasions I attempted and did inform Charles Law that my brain injuries / auto accident aggravations have resulted in my inability to read paper print and to effectively use telephones, and that I have a medical prescription for Internet-only communication modes – an ADA effective communication accommodation Mr. Law is required by federal civil rights law to provide me. His response was a nasty retaliatory retort: ‘Black civil rights are the only civil rights there are, and there are no disability civil rights.’ He thereby intentionally committed racial discrimination on me in the Nationwide claims settlement process, as I am a white, Autistic Caucasian woman.

I was just handed a print letter this morning graciously converted for me to accessible formats by my husband, and at that time I discovered to my Horror that Charles Law had signed the letter dated March 8, 2011, directed to Yolanda Petrano, my mother-in-law, referring to her as my husband’s spouse: “This will serve as a response to our telephone conversation with your husband David Petrano.” The Letter was captioned: “Yolanda Petrano David Petrano” and addressed to Yolanda.

As you are aware, it is a licensing violation in the state of Florida under Florida Statutes, chapter 626 for Nationwide’s claims representative, Charles Law, not to be licensed with the Florida Dept. of Financial Services in Florida.

I did a search on their website under the name Charles Law, and it showed there is no Charles Law licensed by the state of Florida to act as a claims representative purposely availing himself in the state of Florida. There is also no Charles Law licensed by the Florida Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation.

Further, it is a licensing violation for Charles Law, as Nationwide’s claims representative, to be incompetent and to use that incompetence for over three years to in bad faith deny benefits under Nationwide’s UM insurance policy, as his repeated inability to comprehend that Yolanda Petrano was not the injured party in the Jan. 2008 auto accident and is NOT David F. Petrano’s wife, but his MOTHER demonstrates.

It, further, demonstrates incompetence by Charles Law that he was unable to ascertain from my medical records from University of South Florida and Michael W. Hoffmann, M.D. that his office signed for, that my name is Mary Day Petrano, NOT Yolanda Petrano, and that I am in my mid-50s as compared to Yolanda Petrano being appx. 91 years old – appx. a 40 YEAR AGE DIFFERENCE that has a huge effect on the loss of earning capacity part of my claim especially its impact on my attorney licensure.

The acts by your claims representative Charles Law may further constitute one or more felonies in the state of Florida.

This is a demand to IMMEDIATELY provide me with Nationwide’s claims representative Charles Law’s Florida Insurance License number, and the Insurance License / Authorization number under which Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company is authorized to do the business of insurance in the state of Florida, as I intend to file a licensing complaint and potentially criminal complaints against Charles Law and Nationwide.

I am also publishing this letter on my popular Autism blog at to enable this Country’s Autism community to see how the state of Florida and Nationwide routinely abuse and bully adults with Autism who are injured in auto accidents in the state of Florida, and their family members – even frail elderly people in their 90s.

If I do not receive a response within 48 hours, I may exercise my legal right to presume under the Eleventh Circuit’s “tacit admission” rule that your non-response constitutes a tacit admission that Charles Law is not licensed under Florida’s Insurance Laws to handle services as a claims representative for Nationwide or anyone else relating to my above-referenced UM claim, and I will govern myself accordingly, including but not limited to filing an Updates on my blog to the Greater Autism community and brain injury communities as I continue to rectify the extensive personal injuries and Bad Faith insurance practices Charles Law has inflicted on me.


Mary Katherine Day-Petrano
Juris Doctorate, University of San Francisco, 1990

Note: See also YouTube video at

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