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Federal Jury Finds Geico Acted in Bad Faith, Awards Plaintiff $2.763 Million

A federal court jury awarded the plaintiff $2.763 million recently because an insurance company acted in bad faith after he suffered injuries in a 2012 accident in which he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle.

Guthrie was hit by an SUV driven by Bonnie Winslett, and liability was not disputed. Geico informed Winslett that it would handle the matter with Guthrie’s attorney.

Three months after the accident, Plaintiff’s attorney sent Geico a letter offering to settle the case for the policy limits. Geico refused and a lawsuit was filed. The complaint was not answered by the defendant nor Geico, and the judge issued a default judgment of $2.916 million.

The trustee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court filed an involuntary bankruptcy claim against Winslett, attempting to collect the nearly $3 million. Geico hired legal counsel to fight the involuntary bankruptcy petition.

The court ruled that “Geico’s decision to fight the involuntary bankruptcy was not motivated by any interest to protect Bonnie, who only stood to benefit from the bankruptcy, but was driven entirely by Geico’s desire to protect itself from the bad faith lawsuit it knew would be forthcoming from the bankruptcy trustee if the involuntary bankruptcy proceeded.”

If your or someone you know has been harmed in a car wreck, it is important to find a skilled law firm with experience handling these cases. The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is the oldest personal injury firm in Texas, and our attorneys are standing by to assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884 for your free consultation.

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