20 Jul Case Results – 1996
Key v. Prudential
Verdict of $25,000,000 (Marshall County). This was the first vanishing premium case against Prudential to reach trial. In this case, John Key bought a Prudential policy based on the vanishing premium concept, then became uninsurable. After he became uninsurable because of his health, he found out that his premiums would not be paid off in the requisite amount of time. At trial, the jury found in favor of Mr. Key. In early 1996, the case was settled for a confidential amount.
Linda Watts v. Alabama Gas Company, et al.
Settlement of $15,300,000 (Macon County). This case involved the deaths of four young children in a fire caused by a faulty gas heater. The firm obtained evidence that there had been a gas leak in the house which had been reported by Mrs. Watts but was not investigated by the gas company.
Settlement of $4,500,000
This was a confidential lump sum settlement of several cases brought against an insurer – based upon vanishing premium policies that had reached the “vanishing point”, but for which premiums were still being charged.
Wheeler v. Lemond Construction Company
Verdict of $3,500,000 (Chambers County). Christopher Wheeler was a young boy riding in a car driven by a friend of his. The friend was not old enough to drive. A high speed police chase ensued, during which the car drove over a bump in the road caused by ongoing construction by Lemond Construction Company. The company had failed to post any warning signs about the construction. As a result of this accident, Christopher was killed. At trial, the jury gave a verdict in the amount of $3,500,000 for Christopher’s estate. The verdict was affirmed by the Alabama Supreme Court in March 1996.
Vicki Torsch v. St. Paul Insurance
Settlement of $2,800,000 (U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama). Bad faith insurance case based on the failure of St. Paul Insurance to properly defend Dr. Torsch in three medical malpractice cases. Dr. Torsch was deceased at the time of the settlement, so his interests were represented by his wife, Vicki. This case was settled during trial.
Brenda Powers v. Noland Company and Charlotte Pipe Company
Settlement of $2,050,000 (Mobile County). Mr. Powers was a truck driver for a firm in Mobile. He was sent to Noland Construction Company to make a delivery of pipes in the course of their being unloaded.
Settlement of $2,000,000
This was a confidential lump sum settlement of several cases brought against an insurer-based upon vanishing premium policies that had reached the “vanishing point”, but for which premiums were still being charged.
Kathy Hornsby v. Waste-Away
Settlement of $1,700,000 (Chambers County). Kathy Hornsby’s husband was a worker for Waste-Away Construction. He was ordered to drive a vehicle up a steep hill, although the supervisor knew that the brakes on the vehicle were not working at the time. The vehicle crashed because of this failure and Mr. Hornsby was killed.
Jackie Brown v. Confidential Defendants
Settlement of $1,585,000 (Elmore County). Death in automobile wreck of Mrs. Brown.
Talmadge Meadows v. Confidential Defendant
Settlement of $1,500,000 (Morgan County). This was a fraud case against a large insurer, and involved the actions of an agent hired by the confidential defendant – who had a previous record of defrauding clients under another insurance company.
Scottie Ballard v. Lloyd’s of London
Settlement of $620,000 (Marion County). Insurance fraud regarding the amount to reimburse Mr. Ballard under his policy of insurance for his business when it was destroyed by fire. This case was settled after a successful appeal to the Supreme Court.
Rosa Bellamy v. Confidential Hospital
Settlement of $425,000 (Lee County). Wrongful death medical malpractice case against a county hospital for failure to properly monitor a patient in the pre-op room.