Dowling v. Progressive Express Insurance Co. - $1,000,000
Mr. Dowling, 45, and his wife on their motorcycle in a group with four other motorcyclists on U.S. Highway 1 near the intersection of Chamberlin Boulevard in Fort Pierce. John Doe, the defendant and an uninsured/underinsured motorist, was making a left hand turn when he abruptly and negligently stopped his van in the Dowlings’ lane of travel, causing the motorcycle to violently strike the side of the vehicle. Mr. Dowling was thrown in the air and flew over John Doe’s van.
Mr. Dowling was rushed to the hospital. He suffered significant and permanent neck and back injuries including a “closed head” injury, which is a brain injury without any penetrating/open wound to the brain. The Dowlings were wearing helmets, and he is an experienced, licensed rider. The Dowlings had obtained permission from their insurance company to settle their claim with John Doe for his available bodily injury liability policy limits. However, John Doe’s insurance coverage was not enough to cover the amount of damages sustained by Mr. Dowling; therefore Mr. Dowling, who has uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, submitted a claim under his own insurance policy with Progressive.
Mr. Dowling and his family accepted a $1 million settlement offer from Progressive Express Insurance during trial, which was held in the Circuit Court of the 19th Judicial Circuit for St. Lucie County, Florida. This settlement was for 10 times the limits under the uninsured/underinsured portion of the Dowlings’ insurance policy.