CSK Successfully Defends an Insurer in Bad Faith Claim with Alleged Exposure of $100 Million

Joe Kissane, Henry Salas and Scott Cole, with the assistance of Daniel Duello and Zachary Brewer, obtained a complete defense verdict in a bad faith claim filed against a medical malpractice insurer. In Samiian v. FPIC, the Plaintiff alleged that the insurer acted in bad faith: 1) by failing to properly investigate, evaluate or negotiate the underlying medical malpractice claim filed against him prior to the statutory pre-suit period, 2) by failing to properly advise him regarding the benefits and detriments of voluntary binding arbitration in the underlying medical malpractice claim and 3) by costing the doctor the opportunity to settle this claim. Dr. Samiian asserted that because he chose to arbitrate the underlying medical malpractice claim and admit liability that he lost the opportunity to settle. As a result, a $43 million judgment was entered against him. By the time of the bad faith trial, after calculating the interest, Plaintiff contended that the exposure to the insurer was $100 million. The Defense contested this interest calculation.

CSK argued that the decision to arbitrate was made by the doctor’s legal team and not the insurer and, that in any event, it was the correct decision under the circumstances. CSK took the position that Dr. Samiian's own actions prevented a settlement of the underlying medical malpractice claim. Finally, CSK successfully argued that the insurer had no duty to investigate, evaluate or negotiate the medical incident prior to service of the pre-suit Notice of Intent.

After two weeks of trial in Duval County Circuit Court the jury returned a complete defense verdict in less than one hour.

For more information about the Samiian case or CSK's bad faith group, please call Joe Kissane (904-672-4031), Henry Salas (786-268-6419) or Scott Cole (305-350-5346).

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