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Last Post 11/13/2014 2:37 PM by  host
"Muffled Cries" story of adjuster killed in Tampa in Nov 04 reruns 9/22/07 at 6:30pm ET
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Dimechimes
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09/15/2007 9:23 AM

    Florida Farm Bureau adjuster, Katie Froeschle, age 25 ,was murdered in Tampa,FL on November 12, 2004 while inspecting a loss by the tenant who is now serving life in prison. Forensic Files investigated this and is re running the story "Muffled Cries" on 9/22/07 at 6:30pm ET. She was beaten over the head with a motorcycle muffler pipe and her partially clothed body was found dumped in the Hillsborough River.

    This story came up again as her family was running a Fundraiser in Tampa, FL this past week for a memorial fund they sponsor in her honor.

    We ran a blog on Field Adjuster Safety on this with links to all of the 2004 stories you can access on the CADO blog page here:

    http://www.catadjuster.org/Home/Blogs.aspx

    ( Dimechimes Blog in lower lefthand corner) if you wish to also read the links to the news articles from 2004 on this horrific story. There is a link with the information to send donations to their tribute fundraiser in the blog article titled "Field Adjuster Safety- Remembering Katie Froeschle.

    We are posting this in hopes many will read these articles and heed the warnings for safety precautions needed for preservation of life for all adjusters working in dangerous neighborhoods. It is such a very sad story that no one wants to see repeated.

    Here is a link to the Forensic Files show schedule:

    http://www.courttv.com/schedule/ind...xtWeek=yes

    Visit our Adjusters Information Blog
    www.dimechimes.wordpress.com www.Linkedin.com/in/dimechimesclaimSmentor www.Twitter.com/ClaimSmentor www.ClaimSmentor.com
    host
    CatAdjuster.org Founder
    Posts:708


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    09/15/2007 9:38 AM

    Here is a link to a forum thread on story also;

    11/13/2014 Update:  We lost the forum I first listed above but not the data.  Here is a new link to the forum discussion that was started on 11/15/2004. 

    Forum Archive

    katadj
    Founding Member
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    09/15/2007 12:55 PM

    Guess I'll have to weight in here, again.

    The adjuster was sent to a location which was not within her comfort level. The occupant was a renter, the owner was the insured and should have been there for the inspection, and the adjuster should have been apprised of this by the carrier. (Perhaps this happened, and perhaps not).

    The fact that the adjuster was taken from us, with out the simplest of protection to herself, (or it could have been himself) speaks volumes.

    We are sent to inspect some of the most difficult of all areas, and we are not permitted to have in our possession any form of personal protection. We are supposed to follow the rules and regulations of the employers and cannot carry any pepper spray,mace, shock stick, knife ,or heaven forbid a lethal weapon, even if we are a licensed carrier.

    It would appear that the people that set the rules are those that have no concept of what is possible in any given situation. There are many things that can maim , disable or incapacitate an aggressor. A simple playing card, an individual trained in the marshal arts, a professional fighter, an armed forces or law enforcement trained person.

    BUT, have all the adjusters been trained in how to handle potentially life treating situation, NO,NO and NO.   

    We are expected to put our lives on the line as well as the lives of our families we would leave behind with absolutely no thought on the part of the people sending you in.

    This reminds me of the 90 day wonder second Louie's that ordered 50 guys to "take that hill" when they know that there were 25,000 enemy troops holding it. Stupid is as stupid does.

    There has to be a middle ground.Rules must be written, followed and enforced.

    1) Do not inspect a property that you are not comfortable doing.

    2) Call the property Owner and make absolutely sure they will be in attendance for the inspection.

    3) Call in for backup, (just like the cops do) if the area or the loss appears unsafe. Have the file returned if there is no one available to assist.

    All this has been posted before on CADO, and the rules and regs have not changed. No one needs a dead hero.

    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new... Albert Einstein"
    jlombardo
    Member
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    Posts:145


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    09/15/2007 1:50 PM

    R.D.,
    Few and far between is the vendor or carrier that will "send in back up"....you still have idiot supervisors that want photos of hurricane/wind damage taken looking down from the ridge....no matter how steep.......Face it, not many give a hoot about the adjuster's safety........many give lip service...and that is it....try turning back some files to a vendor with a reason as unsafe...whether that be a roof/area or whatever...and see what happens.........
    I firmly believe that you must be able to protect yourself....whether that be in public or at home.......If you think that when you dial 911 from your home that the cops are going to save you when the bad guys are banging on the door, YOU ARE DREAMING.....
    If you think that dialing 911 from a property because of hostility and that the cops are going to save you....YOU ARE DREAMING......GOD HELPS THOSE THAT HELPS THEMSELVES.......... Remeber, GOD MADE ALL MEN......SAM COLT MADE THEM EQUAL

    Period.

    Joe Lombardo Jr.

    Ray Hall
    Senior Member
    Senior Member
    Posts:2443


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    09/15/2007 5:05 PM

    I have been subject to a company man edict of a shot looking down from the ridge and showing the street like many other have.  Some day in the future this idiot rule will cost some carrier a pretty penny.

    Ray Hall
    Senior Member
    Senior Member
    Posts:2443


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    09/15/2007 5:11 PM
    Many carriers will allow adjusters to use off duty police officers escorts in the ghetto,s, kinda slows down your inspections, but it works good when they learn how to hold the tape.
    okclarryd
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:954


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    09/15/2007 8:19 PM
    Some years ago, .........................

    I left a loss location in south Chicago because I was uneasy. I called the storm manager and told him I was uneasy and he said "Fine. Turn in the file and we'll let a staff adjuster do it"

    There's a rather long funny story attached to this but I don't have the time.

    No, it wasn'f funny at the time.
    Larry D Hardin
    Tom Toll
    Moderator & Life Member
    Senior Member
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    Posts:1865


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    09/15/2007 10:25 PM

    I won't go into any detail, but having a weapon with me while working Hurricane Andrew, literally and probably, saved me. The man I worked for had no problem in our wanting to protect ourselves. The vendors, nor companies will allow any type of protection, as it may hurt their reputation, etc. The first time an adjuster loses his or her life, due to this rule, a lawsuit against the vendor and carrier should be immediately filed. Perhaps some of the execs who make these decisions should go out with us to work claims in bad areas. I have had a concealed weapon license for many years. I was a private investigator many years ago, and always carried a concealed weapon, wouldn't leave home without it. Of course I had intense training for the use of weaponry. Someone without experience or training can get themselves in trouble quick. I see nothing wrong with carrying Mace, or a stun gun, particularily the lady adjusters. Not all of us were fortunate enough to have learned in the marshal arts. I was fortunate enough to have had this training, but there are times, that training is useless. You cannot outrun a bullet. Anyone carrying a weapon should get a conceal license and learn how to use the weapon. Hopefully, those who need to change this rule will wake up. I will abide by the rules, but I sure don't like it.

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
    stephie76
    Member
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    Posts:63


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    09/15/2007 10:47 PM

    I watched the story last night on Forensic Files. If it had been me, I probably wouldn't have done the inspection. The whole situation just sounded horrible.

    On the gun.... I was shocked after I got my license that the carriers and vendors dont want you to carry a gun. You are in strange areas with people you know nothing about. I think if you are going to carry one you should be required to take gun safety and shooting range lessons at the very least but it's ridiculous not to allow Adjusters to carry one at all.

    Since I'm from Texas I know how to shoot anyway. I promise I won't miss my target.

    HuskerCat
    Veteran Member
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    Posts:762


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    09/16/2007 1:10 AM

    And it doesn't really matter where you are from.  Been a number of years ago in Omaha, where the crime rate is pretty low compared to most.  Had a reported water/vandalism loss in a vacant home via a Calif carrier.  Got there, and couldn't open the lock box # because the door was boarded over.  Did a walk-round, and saw a rear stairway with the door propped open so thought "what the heck, I'll go in there".  Got in 2 steps with my flashlight beaming, and saw needles, empty shell casings, etc., on the floor and was back down that rear stairs quicker than you can say pass the peas. But, I did take a few photos and emailed them to the carrier.  This was, needless to say, in the seedy part of town.  But again, Omaha, so not your murder capital of the world. 

    Called the carrier to inform them of the situation, and they told me to go back anyway.  They wouldn't authorize any kind of security or back-up, so I refused to go back.  The firm I worked for held no sympathy for me either...they viewed it as not upholding a committment to a client.  A client that our branch handled few claims for, and a client whose self-mandated fee schedule was not worth squat.  It didn't bother me that the client had no concern...it did bother me that my own employer could care less. 

     

    jlombardo
    Member
    Member
    Posts:145


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    09/16/2007 9:04 AM

    Gentlemen and Ladies......

    Put the .380 in your pocket....or whatever caliber you prefer.......legally carry it, conceal it, and be quiet about it....You have got to depend on yourself........If you keep it quiet and no one knows......what's the problem?????

    I agree with the statement that " it is better to be judged by 12, then carried by 6"...........

    Understand, the above is my personal opinion and does not in any way represent the opinion or the requirements or rules of the carrier that I work for..........

    If your employer lays out rules for you, it is up to you to decide to follow or not follow them.......Like who is the fool that tells you not to wear white sneakers to climb a roof........if they are clean and well kept, what is the differrence.........no jeans....okay, when was the last time that they slid down a roof on the ass and needed all the friction they could get to slow or stop before going off the roof......How about Dickies???? How about a colored jean other than Blue????

    Basically, it is your life and limb that is at risk....handle the claim in a proper and professional manner; follow the rules of ethics; be neatly attired or dressed for the occasion with appropriate attire and gear for the inspection.......(R.D..that means no Kilts on roof inspections---LOL)....and for the love of God, be careful out there......

    Vendors and Carriers have got to learn that this is a dangerous job and that a file is just not worth being injured over or being killed over....

    Just my .02

    Joe Lombardo Jr.

    Janice R. Martin-Toll
    Life Member
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    Posts:35


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    09/16/2007 12:41 PM

    I have worked in seedy parts of several cities, slum areas, vandalized vacant houses, etc.  After having had the folding contents of my wallet stolen several years ago while meeting with an insured in Birmingham, I have become much more cautious.  I had left my vehicle unlocked for no more than 45 seconds while I went inside the residence to pick up a signed contents sheet.  Thankfully, the perpetrators only had time to take the cash and they left me enough change to get a cup of coffee.  I did not know the money was missing until I stopped for coffee – the next morning.  Since that time, I lock the doors whenever I turn away from the vehicle.

     

    Shortly after Katie was murdered, I was assigned a claim in the Orlando area and called the contact number, which belonged to a rental management company.  The person I spoke with told me she would give me the name and number of the tenant and I could contact him to schedule an inspection.  Because I had heard about Katie, I told her that no way would I do that.  I insisted that a person with the management company meet me at the loss location.  When I arrived, an Orange County Sheriff’s car was parked in front of the house.  Turns out, the tenant was an Orange County Sheriff’s Officer.  My face was a little red, but as I told the guy from the management company, I much prefer being overly cautious and embarrassed to being dead. 

     

    Janice R. Martin-Toll

     

     

     

     

    Janice R. Martin-Toll
    okclarryd
    Veteran Member
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    09/16/2007 1:33 PM
    Attagirl.

    I'm glad you're still here to post your story.
    Larry D Hardin
    katadj
    Founding Member
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    Posts:256


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    09/16/2007 2:58 PM

    , Joe, i could not agree more with what you have proffered in your previous posts.

    I do believe that the advice given is well worth while, what some do not know will not hurt them, however what we know will save our lower posteriors,  Blue,black, Red or Green Jeans surely will cover you better than the kilt, (LOL).

    And the fact that what is inside your attire is making you relatively comfortable, in a hairy situation, may just be the thing that lets your continue to work, instead of being encased in a concrete vault.

    We all do what we gotta do, and this old timer will do what he had to do.........................................

    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new... Albert Einstein"
    JimGary
    Member
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    Posts:470


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    09/17/2007 8:34 AM
    I have heard many adjusters advocate carrying a firearm while on duty. Some are very vocal about it. Once during an orientation in Alabama, the topic came up (while the company man was out of the room), I have to say I felt safer before I knew that adjuster Rambo Gump, had a gun. I was happy to learn that I would be assigned to the opposite side of the state from him. My point is, if you think that recent television ads (as pointed out in another thread) have damaged the way the public looks at adjusters, just wait till an adjuster shoots someone. I am not against defending your self, but we need to be cautious when discussing carrying a gun.

    The stories of the slain adjuster is tragic, so is the story of the slain pizza delivery guy, or the slain real estate agent, or the slain police officer, that by the way had a gun.

    Just my thoughts

    Jim W Gary
    I know the voices aren't real, but sometimes they're right!
    StormSupport
    Gold Member
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    Posts:203


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    09/17/2007 10:04 AM

    I agree, Jim, while a disturbingly tragic event, equally tragic are the other stories of those who have been slain.  It seems that madness is rampant out there these days and we all, each of us needs to protect ourselves and be aware.  (or is that beware!)

    I think the common point everyone has made is vigilance.  Listen to your instincts and if it walks and smells like a duck, it probably is a duck.  Whether we're out on assignment or in the parking lot of the mall, if something doesn't feel right, trust those instincts!!!!!!  Be cautious and be aware of your surroundings at all times!!!  These are words of wisdom that most women hear all their lives, maybe not quite so with men, but nonetheless crucial for everyone. 

    I've been wondering what good a gun in your pocket would do if someone came up behind and clubbed one over the head as seems to be the case with Katrina.  Or grabbed from behind, the attacker won't wait until you reach in your pocket to get your weapon.  I just happened to be watching Forensic Files yesterday afternoon and the case was about a 20 something young woman who was attacked from behind and dragged into the assailant's car and later raped and murdered.  Whether or not she had a weapon probably wouldn't have helped her.  But what might have helped was knowledge of self defense.  Had she been able to break away from her assailant's hold and run away, she may have survived, maybe.   

    If you're putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, just be sure you can somehow get away......hopefully.  Always look for an exit route, and be aware of your surroundings.  Courses are available all over the place in self defense, how to break away from an attacker's hold, how to use whatever you have available to defend yourself....your car keys, your elbow, fingers poked in the eye of an attacker, the heel of your shoe.  Yell, scream and RUN!   But by all means, if a situation feels uneasy, DON'T PUT YOURSELF IN DANGER.  No fee bill is worth it.  No amount of ego is worth it.  Better to leave and come back later with someone than to take a chance and have your family and loved ones live the rest of their lives regretting your stupidity. 

    Doesn't matter where you're from, how well you can shoot at a target, or how confident you feel while sitting at home in safety, when danger is immediate, none of us are sure how we'll react.  The problem is that the attacker has an agenda, the victim is unaware of the attacker's plans.  The attacker is usually much more prepared, has a plan and a course of action.  Not so with the victim.  So be prepared by having available to you the best sort of protection; knowledge, training and awareness. 

    PLEASE be careful out there, none of us wants to ever hear we've lost another of our adjusting family.

    ~M~

    Do the right thing, ALWAYS
    ~Meg~
    jlombardo
    Member
    Member
    Posts:145


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    09/18/2007 7:43 AM
    Jim and Meg,

    It is not just about the slain pizza guy, cabby, adjuster, etc....it is about being a VICTIM ......and taking the stand that you will not be a victim......

    Jim,
    Most people that I know that carry a firearm legally do so with the utmost respect and reserve for that responsibility. The carrying of a firearm is, like the use of most dangerous items, a very serious matter and one that brings many moral and legal responsibilities with it and should not be taken lightly........just as the use of a firearm should be the last resort.......it allows the carrier to hopefully protect themselves and /or another person from grievous injury.
    And as far as being concerned about " Rambo Gump", I would be more concerned about traveling the highways and byways of these United States, especially with the use of cell phones and other communication devices in the vehicles...it seems most rivers these days are on the phone, messing with a GPS , or some other distracting behavior other than paying attention to the job at handing....guiding 3,000-10,000 lbs of metal at speed........now there is something to be afraid of, not Rambo Gump.....

    Meg,
    Self defense is great, but I am sure that you as an experienced adjuster and student of law understand that the defender is legally allowed to repulse an attacker with a level higher of deadly force.....whether that be with piece of wet spaghetti, a broom handle, bow and arrow or firearm..........the issue here is that someone is attacking you and wants to do you grievous harm, it is not a requirement that you flee for your life.........or if you see someone being beaten with a club in the grocery parking lot that you stand there yelling at them or trying to get in position to throw a side kick or round house.........the point is that some times the correct thing to do is to walk away, some times the correct thing to do is to run away....other times , you have got to take a stand........

    AND maybe, if more people took stands, you could go to the grocery store without having to be"aware of your surroundings" or be concerned that three felons will come crashing through your front door at home......or that some maniac would even think about beating an innocent pizza guy or cabby or adjuster to death just for the fun of it. Yes awareness is good, but should not guide one's life. a certain amount of safety should be expected...and demanded.

    Oh, Meg, by the way, some of us are fairly certain how we will respond when danger is immediate........

    Enjoy those Forensic Files on TV in the safety(????) of your home......is your alarm set? Is the German shepherd at the door or next to you??? Did the gate lock behind you when you came home to your gated community???? Have you seen the roving security patrol lately????

    Best regards.....I feel safe....my shepherd is sound asleep in my office and my trained killer attack cat of 13lbs. is asleep on my desk......

    Mr. Kimber is in my desk drawer...sleeping and by the Grace of God will never be awoken in defense........

    Joe L.
    JimGary
    Member
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    Posts:470


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    09/18/2007 10:57 AM
    Joe, Every thing you say is correct, and I agree. My problem is not with the right to defend yourself. My own closet will supply me enough firepower to wage a small war. But I have reservations about is encouraging adjusters (or anyone for that matter) by our remarks, to boldly carry a gun while deployed. You or anyone else will never know if I have a firearm with me while out on deployment. I certainly would not announce it over this forum or at the orientation. And I do not want to be one of the ones responsible for encouraging someone like "Rambo Gump" to have a gun. I grew up with guns, have a great deal of respect for firearms, have had 2 friends shot (accidentally) while being less than responsible with firearms. My point is that I do not feel it is responsible for us to be encouraging (by our remarks) the carrying of a firearm, especially by someone who may not have the same respect or training as you or I.

    JWG

    I know the voices aren't real, but sometimes they're right!
    jlombardo
    Member
    Member
    Posts:145


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    09/18/2007 4:40 PM
    Jim,
    Point noted......I encourage people to learn the proper use of firearms....I am not encouraging anyone to break the law nor own a gun irresponsibly.......I am stating my opinion as to the value of carrying a firearm, legally and responsibly........

    Best regards,
    Joe
    okclarryd
    Veteran Member
    Veteran Member
    Posts:954


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    09/18/2007 7:06 PM
    I'm stating publicly and for all to understand....................I do not carry any weapons.

    However, if you run low on 45 ACP, give me a call
    Larry D Hardin
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