Chalk this up as a win for David versus an insurance company Goliath. Insurance giant Allstate recently was socked with a $22 million verdict for bad faith in a case that was one for the record books in the state of Pennsylvania. A jury awarded $19.1 million to Patrick Hennessy of Feasterville, PA. Another S2.9 million was added for delay damages and interest. Hennessy was the victim of an accident that ultimately resulted in the amputation of his right leg. Allstate refused to pay its $250,000.00 policy limits to Hennessey because he was outside the insured vehicle when the accident happened.
Jim Boyle of The Pennsylvania Record has more on the accident:
At about 2 a.m. on July 26, 2009, Hennessy was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a friend, Ryan Caruso, when Caruso rear-ended another vehicle. Hennessy and Caruso got out of their vehicle to push their car to the side of the road. Hennessey was then struck by a vehicle driven by Shawn Robertson, Jr., crushing his limb.
When Allstate refused to pay its policy limits, Caruso assigned his rights against Allstate to Hennessy, allowing the plaintiff to sue the insurer. The $22 million judgment encompasses the $19.1 million verdict and subsequent delay damages plus interest.
A young man’s life was changed forever and Allstate refused to compensate him $250,000 because of a legalistic reading of its policy language. Allstate was wrong and now deservedly should pay.
Casey, Hennessy’s attorney, summed it up to the Intelligencer this way:
It was a protracted but ultimately successful battle between a young man with a catastrophic injury and the largest insurance company in America. It is a testament to what one individual can accomplish through our civil laws when an injustice occurs.
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