Posted by Sansone / Lauber Trial Lawyers on June 15, 2016SHARE IT
Missouri car accident case involving an under-insured motorist settled one month before trial for a total of $103,000.00, which is $3000 over the total insurance policy limits of $100,000.00.
Our client was the victim of a rear end car crash and the person who caused the car crash was insured with State Farm Insurance Company up to $50,000. Additionally, my client and an additional $50,000 in coverage through her own insurance, Travelers Insurance.
State Farm paid the $50,000 in insurance coverage. After that payment we made a claim on behalf of our client against Travelers Insurance for her under insured motorist coverage for the auto insurance policy our client had on her car. Under insured motorist coverage affords additional insurance coverage for people that are injured by negligent drivers who have low limits of insurance coverage.
Travelers Insurance denied the claim and defended the case claiming that the $50,000 paid by State Farm was more than enough compensation for our client and that a jury would never give more than $50,000 in their verdict on this case. Therefore, their claim was that if the jury does not give more than 50,000 in a verdict then Travelers Insurance is not liable under the under-insured motorist coverage in our client’s policy.
We filed a personal injury lawsuit in St Louis City against Travelers insurance for the $50,000 in remaining insurance coverage as well as claims of bad faith. We prepared the case for trial and one month before the trial Travelers Insurance agreed not only to pay the $50,000 in remaining insurance coverage, but they also agreed to pay $3000 in court costs for the amount of money we had to spend on behalf of our client in case expenses, saving our client that $3,000.
This case highlights the importance of seeking out all available insurance coverage and holding insurance companies accountable for the promises they make when selling insurance. Often times the at fault driver will have low insurance coverage, in those situations the best personal injury lawyers know to seek out additional sources of insurance.
Early on in the case the insurance company tried to remove the injury case out of State court and force it into Federal court. Federal courts are seen as less friendly to personal injury victims and insurance companies prefer to be in Federal court. We filed a motion opposing the removal to Federal court and were able to keep the case in State court int he St Louis City circuit court. Our motion fighting the removal is below:
PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REMAND (Force case back to Missouri State Court)
COMES NOW Plaintiff, and in response to Defendant’s Notice of Removal and in support of Plaintiff’s Motion to remand, states the following:
- This case must be remanded back to St Louis City Court because:
- Diversity of citizenship does not exist,
- The amount in controversy is less than $75,00
- NO DIVERSITY: Plaintiff is a Missouri resident, is insured by Defendant, and this case is a direct action against the Defendant, an insurance carrier, for Underinsured Motorist Liability per contract that was written in Missouri.
- Although Plaintiff and Defendant are citizens and residents of different states, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332(c)(1) in a direct action against an insurance company such as this one, the defendant insurance company shall be deemed a citizen of the same state as the insured plaintiff for purposes of determining diversity of citizenship.
- 28 USC 1332(c)(1) specifically states the above as demonstrated below:
“(1) a corporation shall be deemed to be a citizen of every State and foreign state by which it has been incorporated and of the State or foreign state where it has its principal place of business, except that in any direct action against the insurer of a policy or contract of liability insurance, whether incorporated or unincorporated, to which action the insured is not joined as a party-defendant, such insurer shall be deemed a citizen of—
(A) every State and foreign state of which the insured is a citizen;”
See 28 USC 1332 (c)(1) (emphasis added).
- AMOUNT IN CONTROVERSY IS LESS THAN $75,000
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff requests that this court deny Defendant’s Notice of Removal and for whatever other relief this court deems just and necessary.