By Alina Cho
Baltimore, MD (CNN) - A tragic car accident that killed a young woman was only the beginning for one family.
What happened next, including her insurance company's actions and the legal battle that followed, played out online and in social media for months.
It's the headline that went viral: "My sister paid Progressive insurance to defend her killer in court."
"My Tumblr is not an especially large soapbox, so, you know, I was speaking out of a sense of obligation to my sister and my parents," said Matt Fisher, brother of Katie Fisher.
It all started in June 2012 when Katie was killed in a car crash in Baltimore. The SUV that hit her had run a red light and the 24-year-old was killed instantly.
"The day she died she had just run a ten-mile road race," said Matt.
He says Katie had a $100,000 insurance policy with Progressive. The family says her policy also stated Progressive would make up the difference if she was killed by an under-insured driver, like the one that hit her.
So the Fisher family was paid $25,000 and thought Progressive would pay the rest, $75,000.
They were wrong.
"Progressive took the position that my sister was at fault in the accident that killed her, which under Maryland law, would free them of the obligation to pay," said Matt.
[Reporter]: "How did you react to that?"
"You know, my sister just died. You think, not this. Not this now," he said.
Out of a sense of honor, and because Katie had student loans that still had to be paid, the family decided to go after the money. But in Maryland, it's against the law to sue and insurance company that refuses payment.
So the family had to sue the man who killed Katie, even though they didn't want to, to establish negligence, and then armed with that decision, force Progressive to pay.
But in court, "Progressive, my sister's insurer, sat across the room. Their lawyer argued for the defendant in the case. He argued that he was not negligent in my sister's death," said Matt.
[Reporter]: "What did you think?"
"It's an indignity," he said.
He was so outraged he wrote this on his blog: "If you are insured by Progressive and they owe you money, they will defend your killer in court in order to not pay you your policy." And "when the chips are down, your money will have bought you nothing but a kick in the face."
After a whirlwind of criticism on Facebook and Twitter, Progressive responded with the same tweet over and over, saying in part, "We properly handled the claim within our contractual obligations."
In the eyes of some, that tweet made matters worse.
"When you respond to a very emotional issue using a mechanical technology like Twitter, it doesn't work. It's very difficult to tweet compassion,' said Eric Dezenhall, a crisis management expert.
The tweet has since been taken down, and Progressive released a statement saying it "did not serve as the attorney for the defendant in the case. He was defended by his insurance company, Nationwide. There was a question as to who was at fault, and a jury decided in the Fisher family's favor just last week. We respect the verdict and now can continue to work with the Fisher family to reach a resolution."
But Matt Fisher says his family has not yet seen a check.