Our Client Wins $1 Million Appeal

 History

In April 2010, a church bus crashed just outside of Russellville, Arkansas. The crash killed 2 and injured 29 others. Our client was severely injured in the crash and died a short time later. For the past 2 ½ years we have been working to obtain justice for our client and her family. The church had an insurance policy through Argonaut Great Central Insurance Company. After reading the policy, we determined that there was a total of $3 Million in coverage. However, Argonaut felt adamantly that the policy only provided for $2 Million in coverage. Our office outlined our arguments regarding the insurance policy language to the Eastern District of Arkansas. Several months after filing the initial brief, the Supreme Court of Arkansas handed down an opinion in Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance v. Austin that almost exactly mirrored our arguments and contained insurance policy language nearly identical to that in Argonaut’s policy. Earlier this year, the court agreed with our arguments and declared that Argonaut owed the victims $3 Million. Argonaut agreed that at least $2 Million was owed, and they paid that money to the injured passengers and the families of those who had died.

However, Argonaut did not agree with the Court’s decision regarding the $1 Million in Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM). Argonaut appealed the court’s decision to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is one step lower than the United States Supreme Court.

Outcome

In mid-September, Sean Keith, Anna Betts, and Justin Kavalir, all of whom have worked on the initial case and the appeal, traveled to St. Louis, MO for the appellate arguments. Attorney Brian Brooks argued on behalf of our client and the others. Mr. Brooks argued the the insurance policy was written in such a way that our client and the others were entitled to coverage under the liability and UIM provisions of the policy. During the oral arguments, the Court of Appeals responded heavily in our favor and appeared to agree with our position.  On November 13, 2012, we received the great news that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision and declared that Argonaut owed the dead and injured parties $3 Million in insurance proceeds.  You can read the Court’s opinion here.

Our Commitment to Our Clients

Our firm is committed to getting justice for our clients.  We fight insurance companies on a daily basis to insure that they are not trying to “save a buck” by avoiding their duties to their insureds.  This commitment to get justice for our clients is what drives us to fight for justice even when an insurance company seeks costly delays and appeals. Ultimately, our client and the others received the compensation they deserved and justice was served. If you need help and are unsure of what to do after you have been injured by someone’s negligence, contact our office today. We will meet with you and personally discuss your situation. Let us see what we can do for you.

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