RYE, N.Y. – USAlliance FCU hopes that a change of leadership at CUNA Mutual will be a positive thing for its lawsuit against CUMIS. USAlliance filed a claim with CUMIS against its indemnity bond policy to pay a loss it believes falls under the employee or director dishonesty and lack of faithful performance category. Essentially, the CU learned that a longtime senior employee did not disclose information about problems a leasing company the CU was working with was having, which it says ultimately caused $8 million in losses to the CU. "This was a classic case of employee dishonesty, the exact protection the bond protects against," said Mitchell Pollack, counsel for USAlliance. CUNA Mutual said it will not comment on the issue because it is pending in court. Pollack said he believes the change in leadership at CUNA Mutual may give the claim new life. Why? Pollack said the CU is concerned about a "philosophy" of CUNA Mutual only paying out "slamdunk" indemnity claims based on contact it's had with other credit unions. "It has always been and will continue to be CUNA Mutual's philosophy to treat policyholders fairly and without favoritism. We promptly, professionally and fairly adjust claims as required under a policy," said CUNA Mutual spokesperson Phil Tschudy. Here are CUNA Mutual's claims paid out over the last three years: * 2003 $1.1 billion * 2002 $1.1 billion * 2001 $1.3 billion These figures are claims that were paid company-wide, not just bond, etc.

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