Appeals court upholds $16 million verdict against Allstate

Posted on Jul 31, 2008

On the July 29th, the Kansas City Star newspaper reported that:

On Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals in Kansas City upheld a jury verdict that requires Allstate Insurance Company to pay more than $16 million in damages.

The case beganon March 24, 2000, when Wayne Davis Jr. got into his pickup while intoxicated, crossed the center line on U.S. 54 in Camden County and hit a compact car head-on.  The driver and the passenger, Edward Johnson and his wife, Virginia, survived but suffered life-threatening injuries. Virginia was hospitalized for 40 days and Edward for 35 days. Their combined hospital bills totaled $320,000.

Although the Johnsons offered to settle for Davis’ minimal insurance policy limits of $50,000, his carrier, Allstate Insurance Co., did not respond until six months later. That was after the statutory 60-day limit for accepting had expired.

After Allstate failed to settle, the Johnsons sued Davis. He consented to a judgment in their favor of more than $5 million — $2.5 million in actual damages, $1.5 million in punitive damages and more than $1 million in prejudgment interest.