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YOUR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION POLICY DOES NOT COVER LOSSES ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19? THINK TWICE ABOUT SUING YOUR INSURANCE AGENT

Posted on Apr 16, 2020 in Articles

By: Jonathan Adelman Most businesses are experiencing financial losses due to Covid-19 and shelter in place orders.  Those with business interruption insurance are likely disappointed to have learned that “civil authority” clauses, which cover losses due to a government order, typically require corelating property damage or the threat of the same.  Furthermore, business interruption polices routinely do not cover losses resulting from disease and/or pandemic.  So, where does that leave you?  Some companies might initially want to blame their insurance agents for not procuring an insurance policy which covers losses associated with what many businesses are now experiencing.  However, in Georgia, prevailing on such a claim is an uphill battle.  The Georgia Court of Appeals very recently clarified longstanding law and held the following:  “In general, an insured has an obligation to read and examine an insurance policy to determine whether the coverage desired has been furnished . . . [,and] the policyholder[‘s] failure to examine the policy bars coverage against the insurer or its agent for failure to provide coverage.”  Martin v. Chasteen, A19A1980, 2020 WL 1239488 (2020).  There are, of course, exceptions to this rule.  “[W]hen the agent has held himself out as an expert and the insured has reasonably relied on that agent’s expertise to identify and procure the correct amount or type of insurance,” a claim could exist.  However, that exception is inapplicable if a review of the policy would have made it “readily apparent” that coverage did not exist.  Traina Enterprises v. Cord & Wilburn, […]

Despite Testimony of Treating Physician, Cobb County Jury Returns Double Defense Verdict

Posted on Apr 13, 2020 in Trial Results

On March 8 and March 9, 2020, Taylor Barnett successfully defended a case involving an admitted liability, rear-end accident.  Both plaintiffs were transported from the scene via ambulance.  Plaintiffs introduced the testimony of their treating chiropractor and orthopedist, both of whom related their alleged injuries to the accident.  Both plaintiffs’ MRIs showed multiple bulging discs.  Ultimately, plaintiffs presented evidence of approximately $49,000 in medical bills and $6,700 in lost wages, combined.  In closing, they asked the jury for an award of $80,000.  After a short deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict as to both plaintiffs.

WACHP Continues Remote Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on Apr 07, 2020 in Announcements

In compliance with Federal and State guidelines, the attorneys of Waldon Adelman Castilla Hiestand & Prout have transitioned to working remotely for the coming weeks.  Our technology allows us full access to client matters.  All attorneys are available by email and cell phone to assist with ongoing cases, accept new assignments, and advise clients as to the effect of the Georgia Supreme Court’s Statewide Judicial Emergency Order and Governor Brian Kemp’s Executive Order on pending claims and litigation.  When possible and in the best interest of our clients, depositions and other meetings will be held via videoconference.  A skeleton staff will be physically present on a rotating basis to process mail and execute essential in-office operations.  Upon request, we will hold invoices for ninety (90) days on new litigation matters received during the pandemic in an effort to ease cashflow for existing and new clients. Waldon Adelman Castilla Hiestand & Prout is dedicated to protecting the health of our firm members, clients, and community.   We look forward to seeing everyone back together as soon as we are assured it is safe to return.

Castilla Obtains Defense Verdict In Clayton County

Posted on Apr 03, 2020 in Trial Results

After a four-day trial, Hilliard Castilla obtained a defense verdict in Clayton County for his client. Plaintiff alleged $239,897 in healthcare specials which included a multilevel anterior cervical fusion. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury for $959,588 in total damages. Mr. Castilla was able to impeach the plaintiff a number of times. Even though plaintiff had two (2) doctors testify that the fusion was a result of the accident, the jury felt like plaintiff did not come clean regarding his prior injuries.

Despite Testimony of Treating Physician, Cobb County Jury Returns Double Defense Verdict

Posted on Mar 11, 2020 in Articles

On March 8 and March 9, 2020, Taylor Barnett successfully defended a case involving an admitted liability, rear-end accident.  Both plaintiffs were transported from the scene via ambulance.  Plaintiffs introduced the testimony of their treating chiropractor and orthopedist, both of whom related their alleged injuries to the accident.  Both plaintiffs’ MRIs showed multiple bulging discs.  Ultimately, plaintiffs presented evidence of approximately $49,000 in medical bills and $6,700 in lost wages, combined.  In closing, they asked the jury for an award of $80,000.  After a short deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict as to both plaintiffs.

Matt Hurst Successfully Protects his Client

Posted on Mar 10, 2020 in Trial Results

On March 5, 2020, after a two (2) day trial, an Athens-Clarke County jury awarded a plaintiff $16,591.10, which was under the $25,000 liability limits that were already paid.  Matt Hurst tried the case for the defendant. Plaintiff alleged more than $21,000 in healthcare specials and $30,000 in lost wages. Mr. Hurst was able to impeach plaintiff with his employment file to disprove the lost wage claim and had more than $10,000 of the medical bills excluded. The jury did not find plaintiff credible.

From 2018 thru 2019, WACHP closed 7,767 matters.

Posted on Mar 02, 2020 in Announcements

We recognize the desire of our insurance clients to move matters towards a conclusion in an efficient and expeditious fashion.

Defense Verdict in Disputed Fault Case

Posted on Feb 14, 2020 in Trial Results

Marcia Freeman recently obtained a defense verdict in a hotly contested, disputed liability case in Fulton County.  It was a “who ran the red light” case involving a well-spoken, likeable plaintiff with extensive driving experience.   Our insured driver (a minor) had been dismissed pursuant to service and statute of limitations motions. The case continued against the named insured on various agency theories of liability.  Shauna Hill was instrumental at trial in having plaintiff’s investigator excluded and the live chiropractor’s testimony limited.  Plaintiff presented medical special damages, lost wages, and asked for an award for future pain and suffering. After a brief deliberation, the jury returned with a defense verdict.  

McNeill Secures Defense Verdict for John Doe

Posted on Feb 08, 2020 in Trial Results

On January 28, 2020, Rakhi McNeill secured a defense verdict for her client in Floyd County following a two day trial.  Plaintiff was involved in a rear-end accident where the defendant blamed “John Doe” for causing the collision.  She was transported by ambulance to the hospital.  Following discharge, plaintiff treated with her primary care doctor who referred her to a neurologist and pain management doctor for further care.  Plaintiff’s incurred medical bills were $14,000 and she claimed an additional $9,000 in future treatment.  After deliberating for forty minutes, the jury returned a defense verdict for both John Doe and the named defendant.

Congratulations

Posted on Jan 21, 2020 in Announcements

WACHP is pleased to announce that Brian McCarthy had been named a partner of the firm.