Case Conclusion Date:May 18, 2009
Practice Area:Wrongful Death
Outcome:Settled at Trial
Description:The settlement is still in the works and may be confidential. Our client's teen son was accidentally killed by his cousin (who was playing with a gun) at the cousin's parentsâ€™ home. The parents refused to take responsibility for the death of the teen maintaining that it was not their fault. Lawsuit was commenced. The parents' homeowners' insurance carrier refused to defend the cousin and his brother (who brought gun into the home). The carrier contended that the death was intentional (one of many excuses by insurance companies for refusing to pay a valid claim). We then sued the carrier. The case was dragged on for an additional 1 and 1/2 year because of the carrier's steadfast quest to avoid liability. In the midst of the case, the carrier made an offer to resolve the case, an offer that is insulting to anyone who lost a child. Two judges in case offer their thoughts on how much the carrier should pay for the death. Their suggestions were similar to the offer made by the carrier. All of these suggestions were rejected. The carrier then dragged both families into trial, indifferent to any human emotions and anger of re-living the death of their teenage son, despite our repeated attempts to the carrier to accept that the killing as an accident and pay the entire policy. They refused! At trial, after introducing numerous law enforcement officers as witnesses, family members, dozens of pictures of the decedent, and two days before the jury was to issue a verdict, the carrier offered the entire amount of the policy to the teen's parents. They jury would have likely returned a verdict higher than the policy limit. Once again, an example of another insurance company traditional method of resolving a claim by choosing human suffering over profit. Had we listened to the judges and other lawyers, the case would have been settled for far less than the policy amount. However, we were steadfast in our belief in the cause of the case, and rejected all of these suggest suggestions.