I represented a pair of brothers, and one sister, who got into a really bad car accident up near Fallbrook, CA when they were picking up their sister from work on a Friday night. The car that hit them hit them at full speed of at least 50 mph, and he was covered by Farmers Insurance. The at-fault vehicle blasted through a clear red light, and there were witnesses that came forth supporting this in the police report. Thankfully, the at-fault party had Farmers insurance which carried a $500,000.00 policy in liability.
As is sometimes the case, Farmers tried to settle out cheap. I filed a lawsuit against Farmers Insurance, and proceeded with discovery and fighting the insurance company. I associated in trial co-counsel attorney Edward "Skip" Babbitt. He and I make a good trial team on certain cases, and we were a formidable team against Farmers. We were scheduled for trial up in North County Vista, California court before Judge Jacqueline Stern. Since I represented the pair of brothers, and their sister, who, at the time of this writing is still a client of mine in this case, I was successful in carving out the $500,000.00 liability policy for the brothers which came to: $333,333.32 (or $166,666.66 each). For whatever reason, Farmers decided not to settle with the sister for $166,666.66 right away when it was offered to the two brothers. That was a risk they decided to take. The case was headed to trial on the sister in April 2016, but about 30 days before trial call, Farmers offered their remaining policy limits of $166,666.66 for the sister.
The extra $30,000.00 came from my clients' medical pay benefits of $10,000.00 each. I was able to get $10,000.00 for each of my clients to pay toward their medical bills, and then negotiate down a complete waiver of the medical pay since I argued to their medical pay insurance the case was worth more than the $500,000.00 policy limits, and there was no applicable under-insured motorist. This essentially gave them the extra $30,000.00 on top of the $500,000.00 policy limits.
San Diego Superior Court Case No. #37-2014-00037223-CU-PA-NC [North County Division]
Case Name: Raul Guzman, et. al. v. Robert Chung Huang
Trial counsel: Mark Blane, Esq.
Trial co-counsel: Edward J. "Skip" Babbitt, Esq.