November 6, 2015
Kenneth Greenfield and Alexandra “Sasha” Selfridge prevailed on the Insurance Bad Faith Cause of Action trial while representing an Insurer Defendant. In late December, 2011, Plaintiff, a California resident, purchased a used car from an out-of-state dealership. He found the car on the internet, and contacted the dealer by phone. They agreed on the price, and Plaintiff paid for the car by sending money through the mail. The car sat on the dealer’s lot until it was shipped by truck to Plaintiff in California. Two months later, on February 20, 2012, the car arrived in California. When the truck driver tried to start the car to take it off of the truck, the engine caught fire, resulting in damage to the vehicle. Plaintiff added the car to his insurance policy a few days later. About a month after that, Plaintiff made a claim for insurance coverage with his insurer, who, after conducting an investigation, denied coverage for numerous reasons. Plaintiff sued Defendant for breach of the contract and insurance bad faith.
After Plaintiff rested his case, the Court granted Defendant’s Partial Motion for Nonsuit with respect to the Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing Cause of Action, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages. Thus, only the Breach of Contract Cause of Action was decided by the jury. Nine out of the 12 jurors determined that Defendant breached the insurance contract, and they awarded $11,371 in damages. Defendant’s last offer before trial was $25,000. Plaintiff’s last demand before trial was $1,500,000.