$1,250,000 wrongful death of a toddler. Toddler was struck in a carport at his grandmother’s house. The car owner had an umbrella policy of $1 million on her home. There was a question as to whether the policy applied to the toddler because he could be considered a resident relative as his family lived within the same property, but in a different structure. However, with some investigation and involvement of coverage counsel, we convinced the carrier that the policy applied, thus adding $1 million to the recovery.
The wrongful death was a motorcyclist. Client was riding on highway when he came around a bend and encountered 18-wheeler blocking both lanes of a two lane highway. The motorcyclist attempted to stop but could not, and slid the bike into the gas tank of the truck. The insurance company for the truck sued the motorcyclist’s estate for property damage. Initially not inclined to do anything, the parents contacted our office and asked what to do about the property damage suit. We filed a wrongful death action. The matter was settled out of court at mediation for $325,000.
The September 2018 bicycle case was a side swipe resulting in a frozen shoulder and back injury that necessitated surgery. The insurance company denied causation of the back injury because the client only complained of hip and shoulder pain after the accident. Counsel was able to obtain a letter from a treating physician indicating stating that it was medically probable that the back injury was causing the hip pain, the complaints were related, and the back injury was a result of the accident. Insurance company eventually tendered the $250,000 policy limit available.
November 2017 – Bicyclist on The Embarcadero in San Francisco. As the client was turning left onto a side street, a motorcyclist clipped him from behind. The motorcyclist contended that the bicyclist was in his lane of travel, the cyclist denied that assertion. The client suffered a fractured right ankle that led to a significant reduction in quality of life. The motorcyclist had a $15,000 policy and disappeared. His insurance company denied liability until we successfully served a lawsuit by publication. Once the third party insurance was exhausted, we made a claim against the client’s Underinsured Motorist Coverage. His carrier fought liability as well. The matter was litigated and settled at mediation for an additional $200,000 plus a $10,000 Medpay recovery, bringing total recovery to $225,000.
Barbarino v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 83 F. Supp. 3d 913 (N.D.Cal. 2015)
Robles v. Gillig LLC, 771 F. Supp. 2d 1181 (N.D. Cal. 2011)
Cline v. Homuth (2015), 235 Cal.App.4th 699 (185 Cal.Rptr.3d 470)