Firm Prevails in Legal Malpractice Trial Involving Insurer Bad Faith

Firm Prevails in Legal Malpractice Trial Involving Insurer Bad Faith

Rob Klein and Lisa Harris were successful in a multi-week trial of a legal malpractice claim against a large national defense firm, which had purportedly failed to advise an insurance carrier client that it was being “set up” for bad faith in a claim against an insured, who was represented by the Firm. The insurance company ultimately settled the underlying claim and a potential claim for bad faith for $7.5 million. The law firm’s primary defense was based upon its contention that the carrier had no legitimate exposure to a bad faith claim in Florida, and that the Firm simply did not have sufficient information to advise the carrier to settle the claim, which was not yet in suit. The Plaintiff in the underlying action failed to provide any meaningful information whatsoever as to the scope of the claimant’s injuries, and there was a legitimate question as to whether or not the insured was at fault for the accident. The defendants also argued that the carrier settled the potential bad faith case claim for reasons which were wholly unrelated to any exposure posed by the underlying claim, to the extent that the carrier was using unlicensed claims personnel to adjust claims in Florida, and had established policy limits reserves on the underlying claim without ever consulting the firm. The jury returned a verdict in less than an hour.