X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
In 1985, Brian Calen claimed he was blinded in the right eye in a cruise ship accident. Seven years later, he said a ship’s telescope blinded him again. Then, he said, he was blinded on two more trips — by a champagne bottle and a flying disc. All in the same eye. Calen’s unlucky streak — which allowed him to collect more than $1 million in travelers’ insurance money — finally caught up with him Wednesday, when he was charged with insurance fraud and grand larceny. “How does a guy get blinded again and again?” District Attorney Jeanine Pirro asked. Calen pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Westchester County, N.Y., Court and was freed on $10,000 bail. His lawyer, Peter Goodrich, said the charges pertain only to the 2002 claim and “it’s our opinion that they are absolutely wrong on that.” He said Calen disclosed a prior injury during the claims process and “it’s up to the insurance company to determine the validity of the claim.” If convicted, Calen could be sentenced to five to 15 years in prison. Pirro spokeswoman Anne Marie Corbalis said Calen, 48, took out insurance policies that covered losses during travel but did not require a medical examination. The policies were sometimes triggered just by charging the trip on a credit card, she said. In 1992, Calen collected $75,000 after claiming the filter on a cruise ship telescope fell off, resulting in solar burn. Five years later, he collected $1 million after claiming he was blinded by an exploding champagne bottle on another cruise. Pirro said Calen had deliberately broken a bottle and injured himself with the shards. In 2002, Calen filed a claim for $500,000, alleging he was blinded by a flying disc on a riverboat cruise with a Civil War theme. Pirro said an alert insurance investigator discovered his prior claims and notified authorities. Corbalis said prosecutors have not determined if Calen tried to file an insurance claim after the 1985 accident. Medical records showed that he suffered retinal damage, but the cause was unknown. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 3 articles* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.