Jury Finds Ace American and Gallagher Bassett Acted in Bad Faith
On April 28, 2022, Doyle Dennis LLP secured a $500,000 (plus attorneys’ fees) verdict against Ace American Insurance Company and Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona. Specifically, the jury determined that Ace and Gallagher Bassett acted in bad faith by wrongfully denying payment of workers’ compensation benefits to an employee who worked for a mining company and awarded compensatory damages.
Doyle Dennis LLP’s client suffered an undisputed lumbar spine injury while working in a copper mine. Although three doctors confirmed that the client needed a fusion surgery, Gallagher Bassett’s adjuster refused to authorize the surgery and denied the client’s claim.
After hearing four days of testimony and argument in the Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona, the jury found that Ace and Gallagher Bassett denied the plaintiff’s claim without a reasonable basis and refused to complete a reasonable investigation of the workers’ compensation claim. Specifically, the jury determined that Ace breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing owed to Doyle Dennis LLP’s client. The jury also determined that Gallagher Basset aided and abetted Ace in delaying and denying the claim without a reasonable basis.
Based upon these determinations, the jury found that Doyle Dennis LLP’s client was entitled to $500,000 in damages to compensate for past and future mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. At the judgment stage of the case, Doyle Dennis LLP’s attorneys will be able to request an award of attorney’s fees and litigation costs, in addition to the $500,000 of compensatory damages.
The case was tried by Michael Patrick Doyle (lead counsel) and Jeffrey Avery (second chair). Following the case, Mr. Avery stated, “In reaching this verdict, the jury sent an important message to insurers throughout the state of Arizona that they will be held accountable for failing to measure up to their required standards.”
If you were harmed by the wrongful conduct of an Arizona workers’ compensation carrier, contact Doyle Dennis LLP for a free evaluation of your potential claims.