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Smith v. Lee, et. al.

Case Conclusion Date: 05.24.2011

Practice Area: Litigation

Outcome: $75,000.00 (reduced per agreement after Plaintiff received award of $300,000.00)

Description: Plaintiff was rear-ended by driver who disputed liability. Defense did not disclose additional $25,000 in insurance coverage (Allstate) for the owner of the vehicle that hit Plaintiff (on top of the $50,000 that the driver had through a different insurance company). Plaintiff had about $15,000 in medical bills with an injury to his lower back that was basically caused by making a pre-existing birth defect in his low back become painful for the first time in his life. Plaintiff was otherwise a healthy young man. The parties stipulated to binding arbitration in front of the Hon. Judge William Sheffield, Ret., of Judicate West, with a $15,000 low and a $75,000 high (representing the total amount of insurance available). There were no offers until the week before the arbitration, which was the $50,000 policy from Traveler's Insurance. The night before the arbitration the adjuster for the other insurance company called to offer an addition $5,000. Plaintiff, based on advise from his attorney, Matthew Paul Krupnick, rejected the offer and the matter proceeded through binding arbitration. The award was in favor of Plaintiff for the amount of $300,000, which was the amount Mr. Krupnick requested in closing argument (and Judge Sheffield was not made aware of the high/low parameters per the stipulation for arbitration). Therefore, the award was reduced to the maximum amount allowed per the stipulation which as $75,000.00.

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