Articles

Print

Written by AMLO.

Kenton County Jury Returns $2.5 million Verdict Against Medical Protective Insurance Co.

by Andrew Wolfson
Courier-Journal, 6/6/2009

The following is an excerpt from a Courier Journal article entitlted "Woman who sued doctor`s insurer awarded $3.8 million" by Andrew Wolfson which ran on June 6, 2009.

...

Kenton County verdict

This week`s verdict was the second in Kentucky in five weeks in which a jury punished an insurer for acting in bad faith with a third party -- a doctor`s patient.

Evidence showed an adjuster collected a bonus by reducing claims, said the woman`s lawyer, Austin Mehr.

On April 30, a Kenton County jury returned a $2.5 million verdict against Medical Protective Insurance Co. for failing to promptly settle a damage claim with a woman whose doctor severely damaged her inner ear during a simple wax-removal procedure.

She had won a $1.6 million award for her medical damages through arbitration, but the jury found that the insurer made her litigate after liability was clear. Evidence showed an adjuster collected a bonus by reducing claims, said the woman`s lawyer, Austin Mehr.

Don Darby, who defends medical malpractice and other claims, said the two verdicts should prompt insurance companies to settle various kinds of cases, including auto accident claims, more quickly.

`Overall, more cases will be settled at a higher number,` he said.

Michael Hance, who is president of the Kentucky Justice Association, a plaintiffs` trial lawyers group, predicted that the verdicts will prompt insurers to `treat injured people fairly and stop playing a numbers game.`

Richard Schiller, who defends lawsuits for insurance companies, said the verdicts `won`t scare them into settling` but will make them evaluate cases more carefully and more fully document decisions not to settle.

...

Reporter Andrew Wolfson can be reached at (502) 582-7189.