Jury Awards Plaintiff $326,000 for Emotional Distress Resulting From Bad-Faith Denial of Claim


A Los Angeles County jury recently awarded a plaintiff a large judgment for a bad faith denial of insurance benefits and emotional distress claim following the insurance company’s failure to provide benefits under its policy. In White v. GEICO Indemnity Company, the plaintiff Panorea White owned an automobile insured by the defendant GEICO. In July of 2010 she was involved in an accident causing damage to her vehicle and repairs estimated at a mere $3,500. GEICO denied the plaintiff’s first-party claim, alleging that White made a material misrepresentation in reporting the accident and that the damage to the vehicle was inconsistent with the accident report. GEICO denied coverage to the other party involved in the accident, resulting in a lawsuit being filed against White. That suit was defended by GEICO under a “reservation of rights” clause and was settled. Due to GEICO’s denial of her claim, White was forced to…

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