(Inside Edition, March 30, 2018) You’ve seen the ads — just take a photo after a car accident and you will get a quick estimate and a check from your insurance company — but how accurate are those “photo estimates?”
A body shop owner gives the case of 85-year-old Muriel Agostini. After her car was hit over the driver’s side tire, she was told by her company, Allstate, to take a picture of the damage. The first estimate she received was about 15% of the actual amount she ended up needing for the repairs.
(RDN, April 23, 2018) Washington law allows a policyholder to sue an individual adjuster for bad faith as well as the insurer who employs them, the Washington Court of Appeals ruled last month.
“The business of insurance is one affected by the public interest, requiring that all persons be actuated by good faith, abstain from deception, and practice honesty and equity in all insurance matters,” RCW 48.01.030 states. “Upon the insurer, the insured, their providers, and their representatives rests the duty of preserving inviolate the integrity of insurance.
(Body Shop Business, Apr 23, 2018) An Orange County jury has ruled that the insurer must pay nearly $23 million in damages to a Newport Beach, Calif., man who sued the insurance company for breach of contract after it delayed payment of a $400,000 claim.
(CNN, Feb 12, 2018) – California’s insurance commissioner has launched an investigation into Aetna after learning a former medical director for the insurer admitted under oath he never looked at patients’ records when deciding whether to approve or deny care.
(The Pope Law Firm, Jul 06, 2017) – Tracy Morgan settled a truck wreck case against Wal-Mart in 2015. It is reported the settlement was for multiple millions of dollars, but the exact figure is unknown. Now, Wal-Mart’s insurance companies are refusing to pay Wal-Mart for the settlement, alleging Morgan exaggerated his injuries to get money.
Morgan was a passenger in a limo that was hit by a Wal-Mart truck in 2014, killing one passenger and severely injuring Morgan and a third passenger. Morgan and the other surviving passenger never gave deposition testimony about the wreck, but now Wal-Mart’s insurance companies are seeking their sworn testimony to determine whether the settlement was reasonable.
(Find Law, Dec 15, 2016) – In this action brought under Kentucky law, plaintiff Joseph Shaheen argues defendant Progressive Casualty Insurance Company (“Progressive”) acted in bad faith by conditioning its offer to pay a $250,000 policy limit for bodily injury on plaintiff’s agreement to release and indemnify its insured. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Progressive on the ground that plaintiff did not create a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether defendant’s conduct constituted bad faith in violation of Kentucky’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act (“KUCSPA”), Ky. Rev. Stat. § 304.12–230.
(Insurance Business Mag, Jun 23, 2016) – Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. was ordered by a federal judge to pay over $8.1 million in damages. The order comes after a jury came to the conclusion last year that the insurer acted negligently and in bad faith in denying a claim for the death of an auto accident victim.
(Find Law, Mar 24, 2016) – Kelly Paton was injured in a car accident due to the negligence of an underinsured driver. After GEICO General Insurance Company (GEICO) failed to pay the total amount claimed by Paton under the underinsured motorist (UM) policy maintained by her mother, she filed an action against GEICO. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Paton for $469,247, which the trial court reduced to $100,000, the limit of the UM policy. Paton subsequently amended her complaint to add a claim of bad faith against GEICO. She obtained a jury verdict in her favor for $369,247, the amount of the excess verdict in the UM trial. Thereafter, she moved for attorney’s fees and costs.
(The Inquirer, Oct 2, 2014) – Auto accident in Philadelphia in which the victim had to have one of his legs amputated. Allstate refused to pay the $250,000 that the insured, negligent driver’s policy afforded, and, as a result, the plaintiff (the victim), to whom the insured assigned his rights, sued Allstate and obtained a verdict of $19.1 million, which, unsurprisingly, Allstate again simply refused to pay. Then the case became about their refusal to pay the multimillion-dollar verdict in connection with the judgment entered against them. Eventually, Allstate settled with the plaintiff for $22 million, which encompasses the original $19.1 million verdict plus what are called “delay damages” and interest.
(The Mercury News, Jul 11, 2014) – The lawsuit involved a lengthy proceeding (16 years) to get the insurer to pay for the replacement of Sherri Berg’s car, which was damaged in a wreck. The litigation spawned from a dispute over the amount of damage done to Sherri’s car and the quality of the resulting repairs.
(Cision PRWeb, Mar 05, 2014) – A federal jury in Billings, Montana awarded $200,000 in contract damages and $2.5 million in punitive damages against GEICO Indemnity Company and in favor of Louise King. Her husband was killed by a drugged driver who did not have insurance. When she submitted the claim to her uninsured motorist carrier, GEICO, it tried to pay half of what it owed under the policy in exchange for a release of all claims.
(Friedman Rubin, Jun 29, 2005) – A Phoenix cardiologist’s disability benefits were terminated in bad faith by her insurers, General American Life Ins. Co., Paul Revere Life Ins. Co. and Provident Life Ins. Co. The jury’s original verdict of $84.4 million in April of 2003 was the 7th largest jury verdict in the United States that year and largest ever verdict faced by Paul Revere or its parent UnumProvident. The Ceimo verdict was reduced post-trial by the trial court to $14.3 million with the court adding over $600k in attorney fees and costs. Today’s decision, rejecting the insurance company’s arguments, lets the district court’s determination stand in all respects.
(Cision PRWeb, Apr 02, 1998) -Robinson v. State Farm, $9,500,000 Verdict for bad faith denial of medical benefits in auto insurance policy. Woman injured in a single car accident sued insurer for failure to make payment under medical pay coverage. Jury verdict of $102,000 compensatory damages, and $9.5 million in punitive damages.
(Los Angeles Times, May 11, 1985) – A Hollywood couple who failed to get a prompt settlement of their insurance claim after their car was rear-ended seven years ago won $7.4 million from Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.
Alex Rhonis, 71, was granted $225,000 in compensatory damages and his wife, Mary, 66, $150,000 for their humiliation and mental anguish caused by Liberty’s actions. Each was awarded $3.5 million in punitive damages from the Boston-based insurance company by jurors in the court of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carlos E. Velarde.