Our client J.D., a high school sophomore, was seriously injured when his head struck a concrete floor following an attack at school by another student (Smith) resulting in a brain bleed which required surgery. J.D. suffered, among other injuries, a mild traumatic brain injury. We filed a lawsuit against the attacker for negligently causing his injuries. Smith was an insured under his parents’ homeowner’s insurance policy with $100,000 in bodily injury coverage that arguably would have covered the claim made by J.D. Upon being served with the lawsuit, Smith’s parents took the lawsuit to their local insurance agent, as the homeowners policy instructed them to do. Smith’s insurance agent failed to properly send the lawsuit to the claims department, the lawsuit was not answered in a timely manner and a default judgment was obtained against Smith.
After judgments were entered against Smith, Yarborough Applegate obtained from him and his parents an assignment of all rights, claims and causes of actions then possessed by them against their insurance company and agent for mishandling of the lawsuit.
Yarborough Applegate then filed a lawsuit against the agent and Smith’s insurance company alleging negligence, bad faith, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and requesting a declaratory judgment of coverage for the full amount of the judgment.
During the course of the litigation Yarborough Applegate attorneys David Yarborough, Douglas Jennings and Lydia Applegate uncovered evidence that the insurance company’s Office of General Counsel in fact knew about the entry of default before the default judgment was entered and never took any action to protect its insured. Shortly after the discovery of this information, the insurance company paid $3,000,000 for a release of all claims and dismissal of the bad faith case.
To learn more about the case, visit this article in South Carolina Lawyers Weekly.
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