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August 29, 2017

The Insurance Industry Quick-Hit Settlement

If you’ve been in a collision and it was someone else’s fault, odds are very good that you will hear from the at-fault driver’s insurance company as soon as possible. It’s a tactic that is happening more and more in Arizona. This is done for a variety of reasons: (1) the insurance company would like […]


Nationwide Fighting $18 Million Judgment in Bad Faith Case

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. was recently found guilty of insurance bad faith practices and ordered to pay $18 million in punitive damages.

The lawsuit, which took place over several years, involved a couple who was given an improperly-repaired Jeep Cherokee, which later on proved defective, causing an accident. There were no serious injuries or fatalities, but not only was the couple put into direct danger by the insurance company’s actions, but they Nationwide took extensive and repeated steps to hide evidence and facts.

Nationwide is appealing the decision, but in the initial ruling, the judge agreed with the plaintiffs that the insurance company’s actions were reprehensible and illegal by almost every definition.

Part of the reason that the judge awarded $18 million in damages is because of the excessive distance Nationwide went in order to fight the claim. The cost to replace the Jeep in the first place would have been just $25,000, but Nationwide pushed for the improperly-performed repairs, and then spent over $3 million delaying it in court. There were dozens of points along the road where Nationwide could have owned up and settled, but because they fought so aggressively, the judge took no pity on them.

According to the judge, Jeffrey K. Sprecher, “fortunately, no one was killed or injured; but Nationwide knew there could be a subsequent accident when it permitted the vehicle to be returned with hidden structural repair failures. This, by definition, is a reckless indifference to its insured. Nationwide was willing to risk the Bergs’ lives to save itself money on a collision claim.”

The entire point of insurance policies is to protect common citizens from expensive one-time accidents, and they serve a valid function, but when an insurance company specifically puts your family into harm’s way in order to save a small amount of money, is there any stone you wouldn’t turn to obtain justice?

Luckily, you always have legal recourse. With an experienced attorney on your side, you can make sure that every step is taken to protect the ones you love.


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