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Date: 04-02-1998

Case Style: Robinson v. State Farm Mutural Automobile Insurance Company

Case Number: CV-OC-9498099

Judge: Unknown

Court: 4th Judicial District Court of Ada County

Plaintiff's Attorney: Richard Friedman and Jeffrey K. Rubin, Anchorage, Alaska; Jim C. Harris, Boise, Idaho; and Dale L. McGarvey, Kalispell, Montana.

Defendant's Attorney: Unknown

Description: Bad faith breach of insurance contract - Plaintiff was injured in an automobile accident caused by a faulty repair of a tire on her car. She submitted her medical bills to State Farm for payment under her medical payment coverage but State Farm refused to pay the bills for over two years. State Farm also sent her bills to a medical records review organization, which sent back a report denying any casual connection between the accident and the claimed injuries. Eventually, State Farm paid the bills but Robinson suffered mental and emotional stress from the delay. Before being paid, Robinson brought suit against State Farm for its failure to pay the bills. When she resolved her claim against the tire company, she repaid State Farm as required by the policy but continued to prosecute her bad faith claim. Robinson claimed that State Farm used medical review organizations which it knew were producing reports which were supposedly written by doctors to delay or deny payment to its insureds. Plaintiff claimed that State Farm knew that the records were not being reviewed by physicians, that physicians were not writing the reports, and that the reports were not reviewed by physicians. Plaintiff claimed that State Farm had a corporate plan to delay payments and put its insureds under financial stress to intimidate them and to pressure them to settle claims for less than their value.

Outcome: Verdict for Plaintiff for $9.6 million in compensatory damages and $9.5 million in punitive damages.

Plaintiff's Experts: Stephen Prater, Santa Clara, California, insurance claims expert

Defendant's Experts: Unknown

Comments: None

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