Posted by Gary Burger on November 2, 2016
In addition to the above case, you need to be creative in finding insurance in all auto cases. We did “creative lawyering” relating to an old crash that left our client Connie Wills severely injured. In 2010, playground equipment fell from the back of a truck that was traveling ahead of her on Highway 270.
She swerved to avoid running into the playground equipment, but failed to do so. She hit the equipment, the median wall and then two other cars collided into her. She was severely injured and spent months in the hospital.
We aggressively pursued the case and named all the parties in the lawsuit. We obtained a total of $2 million for her. For the mediation, I took a video statement of her and presented it to the defendants.
We collected the policy limits from the driver of the automobile that dropped the playground equipment. But, we also collected the maximum allowable from their homeowners insurance because this was excess insurance to them and they were not excluded because the playground equipment had been dropped from the vehicle. The insurance tried to twist and turn from its obligation, But we established coverage and obtained that recovery.
We also obtained the insurance policy limits from the homeowners and auto policy through the truck passenger, who was the driver’s daughter. She was negligent because she was the one who had tied down the equipment in the back of the pickup truck and did a terrible job. She did not check it to make sure establish and make sure that it was all tied down.
We didn’t pursue her originally, but after Gary deposed her it was clear we had to make a claim to ensure our client was fully compensated. Very unusual to sue and recover against a passenger with separate insurance, and when she was not at home and the incident did not involve her property.
We also obtained the policy limits from the other two vehicles that struck Ms. Wills vehicle. I made sure that in the press following the result everyone knew Connie had not “hit the lottery” but instead was recovering losses she sustained because of others, necligence. Read more in the Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly article about this case.