Princeton Insurance refused to pay policy limits of $1 Million in a suit against a bar. The suit was based on the acts of the manager of the bar who served himself alcohol, drove drunk, hit the victim who was working directing traffic, and fled the scene. The acts of the tavern manager made the victim, Joseph Tuski, a quadriplegic. Mr. Tuski had $1.6 million in past medical expenses, $2 million in lost earnings and the jury found he needed $18 million for future medical expenses.
The jury in the underlying case awarded a $75 million verdict. The judge in the case reduced the jury’s verdict to $37.5 million. The owners of the bar assigned the claim against their insurance company, for failing to pay Mr. Tuski’s claim timely, to the plaintiff, Mr. Tuski.
In a story about the case, Plaintiff’s counsel said Princeton had actual knowledge of the serious injuries the plaintiff suffered from and knew there were no defenses to hide behind. Princeton ignored the facts and law and refused to make an offer. The insurance company could have avoided the verdict and the subsequent settlement had they done the right thing and paid the claim timely. This is not an incident isolated to this insurance company, this is a nationwide trend, affecting consumers everywhere, especially here on the Gulf Coast, where consurmers have been at war with insurance companies over denial of claims since Katrina hit.