Defense Verdict - Bad Faith - Pasco County

Jacksonville Partner Joe Kissane and Orlando Partner Scott Shelton received a defense verdict recently on behalf of a well-known insurance carrier following a seven-day Bad Faith trial in New Port Ritchey, Florida.  The underlying case involved the unfortunate death of the Plaintiff’s husband who was struck and killed by the carrier’s insured while riding his bicycle.  The carrier tendered their insured’s $50,000 limits numerous times within the first ten days of receiving notice of the claim.  The tender was not accepted because the Plaintiff alleged the carrier’s claims-handling practices violated numerous industry standards as well as the adjuster code of ethics.  The underlying case, which was handled by another law firm, proceed to trial where a verdict of approximately $13,500,000 was rendered. 

CSK was retained by the insurance carrier and the Bad Faith case proceeded to trial seven years after the underlying date of loss where Plaintiff called numerous witnesses including the family who testified that the carrier repeatedly tried to bully them into signing a Release and communicated with them despite knowing they were represented by counsel.  Plaintiff’s well-known expert also cited numerous portions of the claim file they claimed showed the carrier acted in Bad Faith.  The carrier argued it did everything possible to protect their policy holder and that the case did not settle because Plaintiff was upset by the lack of criminal charges in the underlying case as well as the lack of evidence to support a claim for punitive damages. 

After approximately four hours of deliberations, the jury found that the carrier’s alleged Bad Faith was not a legal cause of the excess judgment against its insured which will result in a Final Judgment being entered in favor of the carrier on the Bad Faith counts. 

Our team is available to discuss the topics written here and ready to provide additional information contained in this article. Contact us for more information.

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