GEICO Pays $1.7 Million Jury Verdict - $1,792,674
On March 5, 2005, Mrs. Batchelor was traveling eastbound on State Road 192, in the area near the Melbourne Square Mall. At the same time, Lou Ann Arnold pulled out of the Checkers Restaurant on the south side of State Road 192 into the path of Mrs. Batchelor's vehicle, causing the crash. Mrs. Batchelor sustained significant injuries including disc herniation's of the lumbar spine and thoracic spine. She came under the treatment of Gary Weiss, M.D., a board certified neurologist, in Palm Bay, Florida and Charles Theofilos, M.D., a board certified neurosurgeon, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Dr. Theofilos opined that Mrs. Batchelor would require surgery to correct the disc herniation's in her lumbar spine in the form of a fusion. On June 30, 2005, a settlement offer was submitted to the Windsor Insurance Company, the liability carrier for Lou Ann Arnold, offering to settle the claim for the available bodily injury coverage of $10,000.00. At the same time, a settlement offer was also presented to the underinsured motorist carrier for Mrs. Batchelor, the GEICO Casualty Insurance Company, for the $30,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage. The Windsor Insurance Company properly evaluated the claim and tendered the $10,000.00 in bodily injury liability coverage. GEICO failed to act fairly and in the best interest of their insured and a formal complaint was filed with the Florida Department of Insurance for GEICO's unfair claims practice. Even with the filing of the Civil Remedy Complaint, the GEICO Casualty Insurance Company failed to correct the situation within sixty (60) days, and a lawsuit was filed against GEICO. The matter was tried before a jury in Brevard County, resulting in a verdict in favor of Mrs. Batchelor in the amount of $1,792,674.84.