Lawyers USA Chooses Top Ten Jury Verdicts of 2008

January 13, 2009

In a retrial that ended up increasing the punitive damages six-fold, a Nevada jury awarded $60 million to a man who claimed his disability insurance payments were unfairly terminated while he was suffering from Lyme disease.

Four years ago, a Nevada jury awarded $1.6 million to G. Clinton Merrick, then tacked on another $10 million in punitive damages. But after the 9th Circuit ordered a retrial of the punitive award, the plaintiff’s team used the ensuing four years to build an even stronger case.

“The second jury got to hear a lot more evidence about UnumProvident’s bad faith practices than the first jury,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Rick Friedman of Bremerton, Wash. Friedman is no stranger to bad faith claims or the Unum Group, having litigating nearly half a dozen similar suits against the insurance giant. Most notable was an $85.7 million verdict in an Arizona case—Ceimo v. General American Life Insurance Co.—on behalf of a woman whose insurance claim was denied after she was diagnosed with cervical arthritis. The case made Lawyers USA’s Top Ten Verdicts of 2003.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 at 4:31 pm. You can follow our News & Press RSS 2.0 feed via through your favorite RSS reader.