Insurance company accused of defending policyholder's killer
Legal panel weighs in on the case
- Duration 7:55
- Date Aug 16, 2012
Legal panel weighs in on the case
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-- -- is back in session on the docket today the insurance claim that that is taking the Internet by storm.
It all started when Kate -- Fisher was killed and twenty intend to buy an under insured driver who ran a red light and hit her.
But when it came time for Pete -- family to collect.
On her insurance policy.
Blog and said that her insurer progressive.
Refuse to pay the claim and then.
Went into court and tried to blamed the accident.
On Kate -- Progressive maintains that there were conflicting accounts about who really wasn't -- and said this case needed go to trial to get to the truth.
The jury ultimately sided with Kate when Fisher's family.
But her brother says it was clear from the very beginning all the way through the -- proceedings.
Where the lawyer for progressive.
-- He defended that guy in in in in the case he argued to the jury in his opening statement that he should not be found negligent he.
Cross examined our witnesses he being conducted -- direct examination of their witnesses and at the end he made a closing statement he argued that.
The other guy had a green light -- my sister at a robust.
That brother is very angry about what progressive did in this case and progressive is now facing the firestorm a PR firestorm.
And so we have brought on our legal analyst help -- get to the bottom what really happened Mercedes Colin who is a Fox News legal analyst and David -- was a defense attorney.
So it David if you can't if you could explain -- because I think a lot of people worried that if they have a car accident their insurance company is gonna is gonna.
Not be there for that right.
And that's what this -- alleging he's he's alleging not only was progressive not there for treatments family to pay out on a claim that she had -- premiums on.
But they actually had the nerve to go into court argue she was the one to blame and side with the man who killed her.
Yeah Megan you know the other -- guy who actually killed -- 125000.
Dollar insurance -- -- that.
Wasn't enough obviously for -- wrongful death so she -- -- underinsured policy with progressive.
And rather than waiting in the sidelines and letting the plaintiff in the defendant fight out the issue of liability and damages.
Progressive actually went into court with their 800 dollar an -- lawyers.
And try to prove.
That the young lady that was -- insured what's responsible for her own death and that the other guy who killed her was not.
Now Megan because when -- LA British effort got a really missed about a -- reason progressive did that is because in Maryland right.
If you can put it it's it's if you're at least 1% liable for the accident.
You don't get any recovery if it's a contributory negligence it's a progressive to prove that their client was even a little bit responsible for that accident.
They didn't have to play and they wanted not to pay gave it.
That's set and Megan you there is plenty of evidence that she was it -- -- 5050 maybe 75 point five but certainly not 1% Megan.
And for them to go into breached their fiduciary -- to their insured.
Opens up a bad -- lawsuit in my estimation that could bring on huge punitive damages to going to court against your shirt.
Side with the defense and actively try to prove that -- shirt.
Is responsible -- -- dep under these circumstances is flat outrageous flow won't be doing a commercial for this case any time.
Below that socialism for progressive who we all have seen -- -- many times Mercedes.
The brother says that would essentially what happened in court was.
Progressive was defending.
Was acting as -- counsel to the guy who killed progressives client.
Now that's not true they weren't actually representing the guy who killed Caitlin -- but they were standing right next to that guy in making the same argument.
Running out and they weren't but they think identified themselves very early on as we are counsel to progressive and they are abiding by that Maryland law that you just mentioned that you.
That's exactly right if there is a -- back.
As to who's responsible the under underinsured motorist -- policy doesn't kick it.
So all are doing was abiding find -- -- like that in any more simple terms so and -- the -- there's American law that says that -- -- insurers.
Carriers will not paid what's called under Richard Henne hit point 5000 dollar policy but she had a canister visit catastrophic all see it this young woman got Lester still dying because the result of this that's an.
45000 dollars is not going to cover samaritan law requires.
That the insurers -- it only to take.
If it is established that bit that in fact.
That person -- -- the cat's neck injury was not at fault.
Was -- -- -- all right had no -- that's so progress that had no legal obligation to pay.
If Kate Lynn was even the tiniest bit responsible for the accident car exactly right -- -- so they wanted to -- progressive did you try to say.
With all due respect to Kate -- Fisher.
There are conflicting accounts that suggest -- may have -- a little responsible for this accident.
And members of the jury if that's true.
We're not just nice guys you know we're in business and business that deal we had says we don't have to pay exactly it's.
Look look what's about to start we know other depositions give people already been examined there'd been affidavit people talked about this case -- -- so by the time it gets to trial.
We know there are two sides of the story and it wasn't definitively one way or the other that's why the jury and that -- decide.
I wanna talk about whether or not -- that's true or progressive was just using that allegation is excuse to get out of paying right after the break.
And I have the brother of the of -- coming out saying if you were insured by progressive and they owe you money.
They will defend your killer in court order to not pay you on your policy.
And he bases that claim in part on his allegation that it was very clear what happened here that Katie got hit by somebody who ran the red -- she had the green.
And there was only one witness who gave a statement on the day of the accident.
And that witness said she had the green her killer had the right.
And he said that the big -- other guys insurance company settled immediately.
And so he says it was only progressive David.
Who dragged its feet.
And decided to have a trial rather than -- up under the policy.
Yeah and -- in any jurisdiction -- -- -- a reasonable belief that his liability you've got to fork up as you said this is just outrageous the way they handled this and make it where there were insured gonna believe now.
That what I -- my premiums every month.
Bet it it -- loyally and my and -- stand -- on T bone and and killed by another driver that this insurance company is gonna go to the defense of the guy who kills me and try to prove.
That he's not liable to -- I guess there's -- liability to their shareholders and to their insurance but they've gotten obligation of good faith obligation a fiduciary duty to represent the David that pay those premium had a.
And the other -- They have another obligation -- the obligations to all the other policyholders.
If they pot of money.
They cannot give all -- money out unless it is proving it and that's what the issue with because you know what 78 live it out aimed at giving that money out.
-- the court how to hold it just one -- Silva vs another all of us.
All policyholders the fiduciary duty is not just the person that paid the premium for that one policy think everyone it's a pot of money.
That's what -- do what they what they they have to do it not a popular thing to do but they do to protect all the.
I -- of the Atlantic and with this for sale I ask you -- -- jury sided with Kate wins a state with Haiti's state they awarded her 760000.
Dollars in damages.
They're not gonna get that.
Now they're not what's on what's left of the policies -- -- 5000 dollars after that the thieves -- and the cost repaid.
That that's that's the maximum they'll get under the policy analyst with David suggests they'll do is bring about -- but.
Frankly it's probably unlikely -- and progressives now just dealing with the media followed the PR.
Battling and folks can make up there I'll find out whether they did directing him -- David thank you so much thanks -- and --