A lawyer, who didn't want to be identified, said insurance attorneys all over town are scratching their heads trying to figure out how a Campbell County jury could have awarded $3.4 million last month to a Liberty Mutual Insurance policyholder.
The case involves policy holder James Demetre, who sued Liberty Mutual's Indiana Insurance in 2009 for breach of contract and for a bad faith violation of the Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act.
But Jeff Mando, an insurance lawyer at Adams Stepner Woltermann & Dusing in Covington, said for jury members to award Demetre that much money, it sounds like they must have felt there were aggravating circumstances.
"A $3.4 million verdict in Campbell County is extremely rare. It's a very conservative jurisdiction," said Mando said, who mostly does insurance defense work and has practiced for 30 years.
There have probably been a few seven-figure jury awards in Campbell County during that time, but he can't remember one in recent memory, he said.
"Under Kentucky law, it's not whether it (the claim coverage issue) is fairly debatable, it's whether they debated fairly. It sounds to me like the insurance company did not treat its policyholder fairly," said Mando, who was not involved in the case.
By Jon Newberry, Staff Reporter- Business Courier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: The Business Courier