Make your own free website on Tripod.com



The "Farmers Insurance News-Alert" website is dedicated to providing the consumer and general public with detailed information concerning the Farmers Insurance Group. This includes fraud reports, consumer complaints, lawsuit's and other legal actions taken against this company. All information contained herein is for educational purposes only. Original sources, when known are sited.

 

Insurer denies homeowners' claim for property damage from 1994 earthquake

Insurance
Bad Faith: Miscellaneous/First Party Coverage: Property

Los Angeles County Superior Court
Pomerantz v. Mid-Century Insurance Co., No. BC138799, Downtown (ccw). Owen Kwong. Jury trial: 8 weeks.
Verdict/judgment: 5/19/99.

Verdict/Judgment: $12,260,000
$325,000 compensatory damages and $12,000,000 punitive
damages reduced by plaintiffs'10 percent comparative
liability. Vote: 12-0 liability; 10-2 punitive. Deliberations: 3 days; 4 hours.

TRIAL COUNSEL
Plaintiff: Patricia Moore, Moore & Moore, Los Angeles. Lawrence I. Washor, Washor & Associates, Los Angeles.

Defendant: Alan C. Arnall, Cooper, Kardaras & Scharf, Pasadena. Bruce Niehlsen, Cooper, Kardaras & Scharf, Pasadena.

FACTS/CONTENTIONS
According to plaintiff: Plaintiff homeowners claimed insurance bad faith after their insurer denied their claim for property damage from the 1994 earthquake. The plaintiffs were Nancy Pomerantz, a 50-year-old homemaker, and Jeffrey Pomerantz, a 53-year-old actor/fundraiser. The defendant was Mid-Century Insurance Co., a part of the Farmers Insurance Group. Plaintiffs'home in Woodland Hills was damaged by the December 1994 earthquake. Defendant denied plaintiffs'claim for $125,000 property damage.

CLAIMED INJURIES
According to plaintiff: Emotional distress.

CLAIMED DAMAGES
According to plaintiff: Policy benefits to repair property; additional living expenses; emotional distress damages; attorney fees.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS
According to plaintiff: Demand: $350,000 by each plaintiff in October 1996 and $600,000 at trial. Offer: Subject to a confidentiality order.

TRIAL EXPERTS
Plaintiff: Keith Charleston, insurance claims adjuster, Brentwood (925) 516-4300. John P. McKay, insurance bad faith attorney, McKay, Byrne, Graham & VanDam, Los Angeles (213) 386-6900. Robert Gerig, contractor, Gerig Construction, Thousand Oaks (805) 379-4899. Farrel Miles, engineer, Miles Engineering, Van Nuys (818) 994-0354.

Defendant: Thomas L. Carter, insurance claims consultant, Carter-Yarborough Associates, Yorba Linda (714) 777-1865.

COMMENTS
According to plaintiff: In this bifurcated trial, the jury deliberated three days on liability and four hours on punitive damages. Plaintiffs proved that after denying a claim, Mid-Century had a pattern and practice of retaining coverage counsel in order to set up the advice of counsel defense and avoid a punitive damages award.

 

Attention! All information contained herein is for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended by any material on these pages. The copyrights of the whole multimedia content on these pages are belonging to their originators, authors, creators... etc. All original content is the property of it's originators. Copyrighted material has been used for non-commercial purposes only. This website is best viewed with your monitor resolution set to 800x600 and your video mode set to true color.