Recently, Allstate, one of the biggest names in insurance, was ordered to pay the plaintiff in a lawsuit $22 million, far more than the $250,000 the man sought in the lawsuit. During the first week of October, Allstate settled a claim for $22 million in connection with an accident that occurred in July of 2009 in which a man sustained amputation injuries in an accident.
The accident occurred in Philadelphia when a car driven by Ryan Caruso rear-ended another car. Patrick Hennessy, a passenger in the Caruso vehicle, got out of the Caruso car to help push it to the shoulder of the road. Another vehicle then struck them and pinned Hennessy against Caruso’s vehicle and ultimately resulting in Hennessy’s right leg having to be amputated above his knee.
Essentially, the actions of Caruso set the accident in motion, which resulted in Hennessy’s injury. Therefore, Caruso was liable for the costs associated with his passenger’s injury. According to a news article at Philly.com, the driver of the vehicle that struck Hennessy was uninsured. Caruso believed he had $250,000 in uninsured coverage. Hennessy requested policy limits for both Caruso’s actions and for the uninsured motorist’s coverage. However, Allstate refused to pay Hennessy’s claims. This proved to be a bad move on the insurance giant’s part.
Caruso was sued by Hennessy and Allstate failed to indemnify and protect Caruso from Hennessy’s claims by settling the case in good faith for policy limits. Ultimately, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court issued a verdict against Caruso and a judgment rendered for Hennessy’s injuries and damages in the amount of $19,145,000. Caruso then filed a case against Allstate claiming that they acted in bad faith claim for failing to protect him from this judgment by settling the case with the plaintiff when they had the chance. Caruso’s attorneys claimed that Allstate had participated in delay tactics that were unallowable. When Allstate settled the claim for $22 million, it was determined to be the largest bad faith settlement in Pennsylvania’s history.
Matt Casey, Hennessy’s attorney, said that “A young man with catastrophic injuries took on the largest insurer in America and won.” Hennessy was 24 years old when he was involved in the accident that permanently disabled him. Since then, he has married and had a child.
Missouri residents who own a vehicle are required to carry automobile liability insurance. Many Missourians carry car insurance to protect their assets in case they cause an accident and someone is catastrophically injured, such as the case described above. They expect that their insurance company will protect them by fairly evaluating cases, offering to settle within their policy limits and by putting their insured’s interests above the insurance company’s financial interests. In short, they expect that their insurance company owes them a duty to act in good faith when evaluating claims.
At Griggs Injury Law our Kansas City insurance bad faith attorneys work vigorously on behalf of clients, working to ensure insurance companies adhere to their promises and make good on their contract to fairly settle cases for their insureds. Contact us today if your Missouri auto insurance company has denied or is delaying payment of a valid claim.