A Florida school teacher has been awarded $3 million in damages after a jury found that State Farm Insurance Company refused to live up to its contract on a 2008 car accident. David Bowler, a State Farm insured, suffered a fractured neck and wrist in the accident. He filed suit against State Farm for damages and medical costs. The other driver involved in the crash, Randall Spivey, had only $25,000 in liability insurance coverage. The Plaintiff had over $2 million in uninsured motorist coverage that State Farm refused to pay. In its defense, State Farm claimed it was willing to negotiate a settlement for a lesser amount, but that the Plaintiff refused its offer to negotiate. In any event, State Farm refused to pay and a jury heard the case.
The jury ruled that State Farm had an obligation to pay the Plaintiff nearly $3 million for medical costs and pain and suffering arising out of the accident. In Florida, all motorists are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage to insure against bodily injury and property damage in the event the motorist suffers injuries and the other driver either has no insurance or doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for the total amount of damages. The latter situation is referred to as underinsured motorists coverage. It’s pretty evident that State Farm should have at least defended the claim in a different manner.
Source: Insurance Journal