Jill Bollwerk of Bollwerk & Tatlow LLC, and James Eason of the Eason Law Firm, recently won a $600,598.88 verdict against a major insurer on behalf of a client.
In August of 2015, the client traveled down Highway B on her way into work in Jefferson County. A vehicle with its high beams blinded her as it was coming right at her, causing her to swerve off the road and down an embankment and into a ditch. The client sustained a broken nose, fractured eye sockets, and a broken right leg. The vehicle with the high beams left the scene of the accident. The client contacted Jill Bollwerk for assistance, which resulted in an uninsured motor claim being made for the acts of the phantom vehicle.
Shelter Insurance, the clients auto insurer, denied her uninsured motorist claim for the phantom vehicle, leaving the client with over $200,000.00 in medical bills. But Jill didn't back down. She enlisted the help of her co-counsel, James Eason, and they filed suit in Jefferson County Circuit Court against Shelter Insurance for uninsured motorist benefits, as well as penalties for their alleged wrongful refusal to pay the claim.
Jill Bollwerk and James Eason took on the case knowing how difficult it would be. There was no mention of a phantom vehicle in the police report, insurance loss report, or the medical records. Nevertheless, they believed their client and took the case to trial.
After a two-day jury trial in Jefferson County Circuit Court and three hours of deliberation, the jury returned a plaintiff’s verdict of in favor of their client. The jury awarded $500,000.00 in damages, $82,950 in attorneys fees, $5,150 in penalties, and $12,498.88 in interest. Shelter thereafter paid the policy limits of their insurance policy, as well as the attorney’s fees, penalties and interest awarded under the vexatious refusal to pay statute.
After the victory, Jill remarked, “I love trying cases. I wish I could try cases all the time. There's nothing like the thrill of going into battle for your client, and sometimes the result is good and sometimes the result is bad. But you always have the privilege and honor of giving your client their day in court, and they never forget you. And you never forgot them.”