One man's crusade against insurance companies - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

One man's crusade against insurance companies

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(CBS 8) - It's a true "David and Goliath" story. A local family is taking on big insurance and the crusade involves a controversial film.

It's a story about a serious car crash. Both the victim and the at-fault driver were insured, but one of the creators of the documentary says that's made little difference in this case, which is why the film was made.

It was August 3, 2011 when then 83-year-old Kay Shea's life changed forever.

"I really don't remember anything, but a big bang," said Kay.

While driving in Missouri, Kay was hit head on by a 17-year-old boy who had drifted into her lane.

For the next five months, she was confined to a hospital bed with medical bills totaling $800,000.

Her injuries so severe, she now has trouble walking, and metal plates throughout her body. Hence the name of this documentary: The Iron Lady.

"She has her moments of complete despair, which is very hard to watch because it's not who she is," said Dan Shea.

San Diego businessman Dan Shea is Kay's nephew and one of the driving forces behind making the film.

Dan released the video on a website called insurance badbehavior.org.

He was inspired to do so, after watching his aunt's case go to trial in October of 2013 and despite being awarded a $2.1 million settlement, she has yet to see a dime.

"They're just delaying, delaying, threatening appeals, asking judge for a new trial," said Dan.

Craig McClellan appears in the documentary as the Shea family's advising attorney:

"One of the reasons the insurance company delays is because it can make more money and its money by keeping it and using it, than if it pays out a large sum to a seriously injured person."

For Dan, his crusade is not about the money, but rather regaining his aunt's dignity and educating others on what he says is a growing problem.

"Before you have an accident, make sure you understand your coverage because believe me they're looking for ways out," explained Dan.

Kay, meanwhile, is still fighting to be the vibrant woman she once was. She just hopes she'll still be around when and if her case finally settles.

"And, you know, I've always been determined to make it. I'm afraid I might die if I don't," she said.

Farmers and Nationwide Insurance are the two companies connected to this case. CBS News 8 reached out to both.

A Nationwide representative says they are looking into this matter.

Farmers released a statement, which in part reads: "They sympathize with Mrs. Shea and hope to resolve this matter in the near future."

As for Kay, she was forced to move to another state to receive full-time care from relatives.

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