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Date: 06-04-2003

Case Style: Sam Goins, Bob Martin & Peter Burke vs. American Equity Insurance Company

Case Number: CJ-2000-466

Judge: Robert G. Haney

Court: District Court Ottawa County, Oklahoma

Plaintiff's Attorney:

Joseph F. Clark, Jr., Tulsa, Oklahoma

Defendant's Attorney:

Bruce A. McKenna and Michael A. Edwards of Holden & McKenna, Tulsa, Oklahoma


Suit on a Builders Risk Insurance Policy. Fire on December 23, 1999 caused the house to be a total loss. Suit sought additional contract benefits and "bad faith" for late payment, inadequate payment and investigation. Plaintiff claimed that the offer on the dwelling of $27,000.00 on March 17,2000 was not adequate and too late. Defendant asserted that the offer was based on a valid appraisal and was timely made. There was also an allegation that the debris removal was not timely paid. The Court submitted the bad faith to the jury as to two of the three plaintiffs finding that there was no duty owed to the third plaintiff and further capping the punitive damages at the first level of %100,000.00 or equal to the actual damages. The maximum amount of contract damages was set a $18,0000.00 the remaining policy limits.

Outcome: Verdict for the plaintiffs of $16,000.00 on the contract. Consequential damages of $10,000.00 each Sam Goins and Bob Martin and punitive damages of $100,000.00.

Plaintiff's Experts: Bob R. Stephens Tulsa Oklahoma

Defendant's Experts: Sue Sullivan, former Assistant Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner; Travis Taylor, Appraiser; and James Folsom, Certified Industrial Hygenist, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Comments: Reported by Joe Clark

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