In 1982, a group of 700 physicians established a self-insurance trust to handle their medical malpractice claims. In 1995, NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company convinced the trust's members to purchase their medical malpractice policies from NORCAL instead, in exchange for NORCAL's promise to pay off the trust's outstanding debts. When NORCAL reneged, attorney Jerome Ringler was able to establish the insurance company's bad faith in court and secure a $156 million compensatory damages award from the jury.
As atypical as this particular insurance bad faith result may be in terms of its size, it does present a fair picture of the type of vigorous, effective legal representation provided by the Los Angeles-based law firm of Ringler Law Corporation.
What is Bad Faith Insurance?
Bad faith insurance is when an insurance company refuses to pay out a claim or delays payment on a valid claim. This can be done for a number of reasons, such as the insurance company trying to force the policyholder to accept a lower payout than they are entitled to, or the insurance company trying to take advantage of the policyholder's lack of knowledge about the claim process.
Bad faith insurance is a serious problem because it can leave policyholders without the money they need to pay for their losses. It can also cause policyholders to miss out on critical coverage, such as medical benefits, that they need in order to recover from their losses.
The following story was published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal:
Trustee reaches $7M settlement in bad faith insurance case. Jerome L. Ringler represented plaintiff Jeffrey Golden, a trustee for a nurse who filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after a medical malpractice lawsuit resulted in a $6 million dollar judgment against her. As her trustee, Golden alleged that insurance provider MedPro acted negligently and in bad faith in not settling in a previous instance.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee reached a $5 million settlement with an insurance company in an insurance bad faith case resulting from a 2-year-old child’s botched insertion of a tracheostomy tube in a previous case.
Jerome L. Ringler represented plaintiff Jeffrey Golden, a trustee for a nurse who Fled for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after a medical malpractice lawsuit resulted in a $6 million dollar judgment against her. As her trustee, Golden alleged that insurance provider MedPro acted negligently and in bad faith in not settling in a previous instance. Jeffrey Golden, Chapter 7 Trustee v. MedPro Group Inc., 30-2018-01035776 (Orange Super. Ct., Fled Sep. 17 2021).
In an interview, the Ringler Law Corp. attorney from Westlake Village said, “The test for whether or not an insurance carrier must accept a policy limits demand is whether at the time the demand was made it was reasonable. An insurance carrier is liable for refusing to pay a policy limits demand if its refusal was unreasonable.”
“The evidence here was extraordinarily strong that at the time the policy limits demand for $1 million was refused by MedPro there was significant evidence reflecting the case had a value well in excess of the policy limits of $1 million,” Ringler said. “This unreasonable refusal to pay the policy on the part of MedPro constituted a clear case of its breach of the obligations of good faith and fair dealing which MedPro pro was obligated to satisfy in the defense of its insured nurse.”
Insurance Bad Faith Litigation with Ringer Law Corporation
As a firm, we limit our professional focus to complex civil litigation and the resolution of disputes where significant risks and rewards are at stake. With regards to insurance bad faith, our practice includes both class action lawsuits and claims brought by individual insureds on the basis of coverage disputes, unfairly rejected claims, failures to indemnify and a broad range of other contractual breaches.
In terms of service, each Ringler Law Corporation client is represented by a highly skilled legal team led by experienced trial attorneys who understand the specific legal issues surrounding the case. In terms of our approach, we deploy whatever resources are required to begin preparing cases for trial in earnest from the beginning of our involvement. In many ways, we believe that this practice has not only helped us to achieve results like those in the NORCAL case described above, but that it has led to more substantial settlement offers from other insurance companies as well.
To discuss your legal matter with a lawyer, call us in Southern California at 805-719-4903 or contact us online.