Vicki Gunvalson is the self-appointed OG of the OC. The Real Housewives of Orange County star is the longest standing cast member of the longest running Housewife show. And she doesn’t let us forget it! Sometimes it can be hard to find things to admire about Vicki-she can be loud, demanding, needy and frequently whoops it up a little too much. Plus, she stood by questionable boyfriend Brooks Ayers long after it became clear he was not the Prince Charming she claimed he was.
On the flip side, there are some things admirable about Vicki. She seems to have raised good children. And Vicki began an Orange County insurance business which she turned into a big success. Now, however, a long-time client of her beloved company is calling her ethics and integrity into question.
According to documents obtained by The Blast, an 82 year old widow named Joan Lile is suing Vicki and her company Coto Insurance & Financial Services. Ms. Lile is accusing Vicki of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.
In the lawsuit, Joan claims that she and her late husband Robert Lile purchased a long-term care insurance policy from Vicki in 1996. Joan states that she and her husband were looking for a policy that would cover all future medical premiums if one spouse passed away.
In The Blast obtained court documents, Joan accuses Vicki of “preying on the confidence and trust of her and her husband” as she promised the couple that the policy she sold them included a special provision of a “Lifetime Waiver of All Premiums for a Surviving Spouse.”
The documents further state that, “This SWOP benefit was of utmost importance to the Liles because Robert Lile was significantly older than Joan Lile and wanted, above all else, to know that his wife would be protected financially upon his passing.” Of course, anyone would want their spouse financially protected if they passed away. Insurance policies can be difficult to understand and purchasers want to have faith that all their bases are covered.
RELATED: Vicki Gunvalson Reportedly Demoted To Friend Of Status Next Season If Boyfriend Steve Lodge Doesn’t Propose To Her On Camera
According to The Blast, Joan further accuses Vicki of “fraudulently and willfully misrepresenting to her the policies for over 20 years, throughout which time [Lile] paid ever-increasing premiums yet was ultimately denied the specific benefit on which the purchase of the policy was predicated.” And that seems to be the reason why the lawsuit came about.
After Robert passed away in 2017, Joan claims she was denied the SWOP benefit by the insurance company when she tried to use it to pay her medical premiums. Joan says she continued to be charged for premiums and is suing for unspecified damages.
Vicki gave a statement through her attorney to The Blast, stating, “The claims alleged against Gunvalson are completely false. Gunvalson has always acted professionally and with the utmost truthfulness and integrity in every transaction that she acted as an insurance agent for her clients. She has never engaged in any fraudulent conduct nor misrepresented any terms of any policy. She vehemently denies the false allegations made against her in the lawsuit by Mrs. Lile.”
Orange County viewers have watched Vicki’s insurance business grow during her years as a Housewife, from a small agency with former Orange County Housewife Lauri Peterson as an employee to a larger company that Vicki is very proud of. Son Michael Wolfsmith is even a Vice President with Coto Insurance. Despite sometimes wild behavior and feuds with co-stars from Tamra Judge to Gretchen Rossi and Kelly Dodd, Vicki has always seemed to be a confident business professional in her working life.
It is safe to assume that none of this will sit too well with Vicki. Your reputation is everything in business, especially one as sensitive as the insurance and financial industry. Being sued by an elderly widow is not something any professional would want. As a matter of fact, I think I can hear the screeches coming from Coto de Caza outside my window!
TELL US-WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS LAWSUIT? HOW DO YOU THINK VICKI WILL HANDLE BEING SUED?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]