‘Good Faith’ Bills Remain Subject Of Debate
A need for legislation requiring an insurance company to act in good faith
Danny Nelson and his lawyer, Jeffrey Sieben of Minneapolis, think Nelson got a raw deal from his insurance company. Nelson, a 44-year-old bricklayer, was seriously injured in a car accident. He settled his claim against the driver, who was underinsured, for $95,000, and collected another $40,000 in no-fault benefits.
Having suffered injuries to his femur necessitating a future hip replacement and causing recurring health issues, Nelson asked his insurer to pay the $100,000 in underinsured motorist benefits provided for in his auto policy. The insurance company initially offered to pay half, ultimately upping its offer to $75,000 just before trial. Rather than settling the case for $25,000 less than he thought he was entitled to, Nelson opted to go to trial. After hearing the facts, the jury returned a verdict of $793,000.