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Lars A. Lundeen
Avvo
Pro

Lars Lundeen’s Legal Cases

5 total

  • State Farm Life Insur. Co. v. Bass 605 So2d 908

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Feb 08, 1995
    Outcome:
    Jury Verdict WIN for my client, Ms. Bass
    Description:
    I had previously represented Ms. Bass in successfully prosecuting a wrongful death claim against Metropolitan Dade County, Florida for the negligent lifeguarding of the county beach, which resulted in the death of her son, Mr. Huggins. Prior to Mr. Huggins untimely death, Ms. Bass had applied for life insurance for herself and her son at the request of a mortgage company in connection with the purchase of a new home by Ms. Bass and her son. State Farm, through its trainee agent, Ms. Tallarico, accepted an insurance application from Ms. Bass and her son. When the agent left Ms. Bass's home, she told Ms. Bass that she would take care of the application. Ms. Bass had a complicated medical history, but State Farm did not offer to write a separate policy for Mr. Huggins, who was young and in good health. State Farm demanded additional medical information about Ms. Bass and required that she submit to a medical examination, which she did. Ms. Bass relied on Tallarico's promise that she would take care of the application. In fact, Ms.Bass was contacted by representatives of other insurance companies regarding the possibility of obtaining life insurance; however, Ms.Bass did not obtain life insurance from these companies because she was confident that she and her son had life insurance with State Farm. About 4 months after applying, Ms. Tallarico notified Ms. Bass that the life insurance policy for her and her son was ready and that she would have it delivered to her. A week later Ms. Bass called the State Farm agent because the policy had still not been delivered. The agent promised to bring the policy over to Ms. Bass's house that evening, however, the agent failed to appear and deliver the policy. 7 days later Ms. Bass again called the agent, but was not able to personally reach her at her office. 10 days later Ms. Bass again called the agent and requested that the policy be delivered. The agent finally delivered the policy; however, Mr. Huggins had died the day before in the tragic drowning incident. When demand was made on State Farm for the death benefits, State Farm denied coverage on the basis that the insurance application was not binding and the application required that an insured be living at the time the policy was delivered. Ms. Bass then brought suit through my office, charging negligence in the handling of the policy by State Farm and its agent. Expert testimony developed by my office showed that the agent should have suggested a separate policy for Mr. Huggins. If a separate policy had been suggested, it could have been issued, paid for, and promptly delivered while further underwriting investigation continued as to Ms. Bass. It was also shown that it was poor management practice on the part of State Farm to have no supervisor who could have suggested the issuance of separate policies to the trainee agent. There also were definite departures from the normal insurance industry standard of care concerning telephone communications from Ms. Bass, in that there was no follow-up system as far as telephone messages were concerned at the agent's office. The expert also found that State Farm was negligent in failing to notify Ms. Bass about the status of her application during the entire underwriting process, where months went by with no communication. The jury found negligence on the part of the defendants and awarded the face amount of the life insurance policy, plus prejudgment interest to Ms. Bass. State Farm and Tallarico appealed the jury verdict, but the verdict was affirmed in Ms. Bass's favor. In proceedings subsequent to the verdict, the trial court also awarded $8000 in additional attorney fees and costs to Ms. Bass for State Farm's persistent discovery abuses throughout the course of the litigation, having required Ms. Bass to file multiple motions to compel discovery and to hold the defendant in contempt.
  • Pamela Panoushek v. John Olson, Bernie Webster,and Bernie Webster Plumbing & Heating, Inc.

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    May 13, 2009
    Outcome:
    Confidential settlement in favor of Plaintiff
    Description:
    Ms. Panoushek was a new tenant in a W. Rutland apartment building owned by Mr. John Olson and whose plumbing was maintained by plumber Bernie Webster, whose license had lapsed and who used unlicensed personnel to make a hot water tank installation at Mr. Olson's apartment building. The negligent installation resulted in severe scalding to Ms. Panoushek when she took a shower in her new apartment. Plaintiff's hospitalization and other medical expenses exceeded $189,000. Plaintiff alleged negligent maintenance of the plumbing fixtures and noncompliance with the applicable plumbing code when the hot water tank was installed without a code compliant mixing valve to modulate the hot water to plaintiff's shower.
  • Dawn Ellis v. Earl Coombs and The Concord Group Insurance Companies

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Sep 04, 2008
    Outcome:
    Confid. Settlement for Policy Limits for Pl.
    Description:
    Ms. Ellis, a VT resident, was a passenger in a car which struck a rock ledge when Mr. Coombs negligently ran his car off the road in New York State, just over the VT border. New York's threshold for serious injury pain and suffering recovery under their no fault statute was met and Mr. Coombs' carrier paid his liability policy limit and the coverage available under his Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Our office then turned our attention to collecting all of the Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UIM) coverage available to Ms. Ellis under 3 separate Concord policies issued to Ms. Ellis, her sister, and her father, all of whom lived together in the same household. Ms. Ellis had extensive medical bills and a serious leg fracture and other injuries which hampered her return to work as a waitress/bartender. Using her treating doctors, educational testing, a functional capacity evaluation, a vocational expert and an expert economist, our office was able to demonstrate the true extent of Ms. Ellis' losses and obtained the available limit payments from all 3 Concord UIM policies for her.
  • Travis and Jennifer Hoffman v. Ernest Hoffman

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Outcome:
    $300,000.00 Policy Limit Settlement
    Description:
    Travis had been a carpenter who helped construct modular homes and similar projects prior to his injury. While visiting his parents' home and on the way barefoot to the pool area with his children, he stepped on a piece of a broken glass light bulb, which embedded deeply into his heel. His father had been drinking and had broken the bulb when he was cleaning out trash a few days before, but failed to clean up the broken fragments or warn anyone about the danger. The father was insured under his homeowner's liability policy. What at first did not appear to be a very serious injury, soon developed into serious physical and emotional complications, necessitating surgery and resulting in loss of a significant part of his heel pad and preventing Travis from returning to his regular employment or engaging in his usual activities with his wife and children.
  • Jessica M. Byrnes v. Carleigh Warfield

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Outcome:
    $100,000.00 Policy Limit Settlement
    Description:
    Ms. Byrnes was a passenger in a vehicle driven by an acquaintence, Ms. Warfield, who was insured under a NY State auto liability policy issued to her father. Ms. Warfield drove too quickly on icy road conditions here in VT, causing her vehicle to slide off the road and overturn on its side. While Ms. Byrnes was seatbelted, Ms. Warfield was not, and she fell from the driver's position behind the wheel onto Ms. Byrnes' left arm, severely fracturing it. After about six months there was still nonunion of the initial comminuted fracture, ultimately resulting in ORIF surgery. Jessica was left with a slight arm deformity and a 17 cm. hypertrophic sugical scar which could be improved with plastic surgery. Investigation by our office revealed that Ms. Warfield had been drinking before the incident and had turned down a friend's offer to allow her to sleep at the friend's house rather than drive. Investigation also revealed that Ms. Warfield had previously been ticketed in NYS for not wearing a seat belt. VT law also required Ms. Warfield to be belted at the time of this crash. Ms. Byrnes had approx. $24,000 in medical bills, which were paid by NYS PIP coverage and lost earnings of approx. $6,000, also covered by PIP. The carrier's maximum pre-suit offer was $48,000. Based on our office's recommendation, our client rejected the offer and our office filed suit, alleging compensatory as well as punitive damages, based on our investigation results. The carrier soon agreed to pay the entire $100,000.00 policy limit.