Kentucky Insurance Guarantee Association v. Jeffers

William J. Driscoll

Practice Area:Insurance

Outcome:Favorable for client.

Description:This case was a major win for a number of victims of medical malpractice, as well as the involved physicians. PIE Insurance Company, one of the largest medical malpractice insurers in Kentucky, went insolvent. The Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation increasing the guarantee fund for insolvent insurers from $100,000 per claim to $300,000 per claim. The issue was whether the legislation was remedial in nature and, therefore, should be applied retroactively. The Kentucky Supreme Court applied the legislation retroactively, therefore allowing the involved physicians an additional level of indemnification and reducing their personal exposure. This also gave the injured plaintiffs a source of funding from which to settle their claims. Had this case turned out differrently, a number of physicians would have been driven into bankruptcy, and a many plaintiffs would have realized no recovery. Driscoll's client had settled her claim at mediation for a substantial amount, only to receive an insolvency notice rather than the settlement check. This decision allowed her to recover most of her settlement from KIGA, albiet years later.