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U.S. District Court once again ruled against ACE American Insurance Company (“ACE American”), Sedgwick Claims Management Services (“Sedgwick”), by Denying Summary Judgement to Eliminate Punitive Damages

On June 16, 2015 the United States District Court of Arizona once again ruled against ACE American Insurance Company (“ACE American”), who was acting through its adjusters at Sedgwick Claims Management Services (“Sedgwick”), by denying its request for summary judgement to eliminate punitive damages in our client’s case against the workers’ compensation insurer and third party administrator.

Our client, a hard-working employee of Boeing, injured her head and knee on the job, as the result of fall on a concrete floor. The injury Plaintiff sustained meant Plaintiff was unable to return to work for an extended period of time. ACE American and Sedgwick handled her claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

The straightforward worker’s compensation claim of Plaintiff incited a difficult and unnecessary battle against this insurance company for owed benefits. Even though ACE American and Sedgwick admitted the obligation to pay benefits, the representative of ACE American and Sedgwick grossly miscalculated the monthly benefits owed to our client. Nonetheless, the Sedgwick’s adjuster refused to correct the miscalculation for months.  As a result, our client was forced to seek redress from the Industrial Commission of Arizona (“ICA”), where ACE American was ordered to pay a significant amount of past-owed benefits.

In spite of this ICA award, ACE American and Sedgwick still delayed payment of the back benefits owed. The United States District of Arizona rejected that ACE American and Sedgwick’s argument to avoid jury consideration of a claim for punitive damages. As a result, a jury will evaluate ACE American and Sedgwick’s conduct to determine whether they should be punished for the wrongful denial of workers’ compensation insurance benefits.

This June action denying the motion of ACE American’s defense team comes following a January ruling in favor of Plaintiff. The same judge made a partial summary judgement that ACE American breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing.

Doyle LLP – Trial Lawyers is proud to represent this client in her fight against the wrongful denial of insurance benefits.  If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, and is struggling to receive promised support from the workers’ compensation insurer, please do not hesitate to contact us.