The following cases illustrate trial, arbitration, court of appeals and class certification oral arguments/hearing experience for Meloney Perry and Stacy Thompson:
UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST CASES
Roger Barbe v. Government Employees Insurance Company; Case 4:13-cv00441-RC in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Stacy Thompson, Counsel
Underinsured motorist case where Plaintiff was claiming extensive loss of earning capacity (past as future) as well as medical expenses due to automobile accident. The Perry Law Firm tried the case which included medical and economic experts as well as fact witnesses. The jury initially indicated it was unable to reach a unanimous decision, however after the Court read the Jury an Allen charge, it reached a verdict awarding Plaintiff less than 40% of the damages he requested.
Ismail Dhanani v. GEICO Indemnity Company; Cause No. 14-07833-362 in the 362nd Judicial District Court, Denton County, Texas, Stacy Thompson, Counsel
Plaintiff alleged he was struck by an unknown vehicle while in a parking lot and sustained injuries which included a future shoulder surgery. The jury deliberated for less than 15 minutes before delivering a defense verdict.
BODILY INJURY CASES
Karen Cox v. Ashlee N. Carreon and Tracy L. Carreon; Cause No. CV-14-0974 in the 43rd Judicial District Court of Parker County, Texas, Meloney Perry & Stacy Thompson, Counsel
Plaintiff, a postal carrier, alleged Defendant, a young insured, failed to yield the right of way at an intersection. In addition to general damages, Plaintiff alleged a neck surgery was necessary due to her injuries and refused to accept anything less than the policy limits. Complicating the matter was Plaintiff’s cancer diagnoses. Attorneys with the Perry Law Firm convinced the trial court to exclude any mention of her cancer diagnoses at trial. The Plaintiff’s neurosurgeon was deposed, and Perry Law attorneys cross examined her life care planner at trial. Defendant’s carrier insisted on a high/low agreement of $30,000/$100,000 going into trial. The jury found Defendant responsible for the accident but awarded the Plaintiff $6,500 for all of her alleged damages.
Susan Bobo v. Elezebeth Varughese; Cause No. 017-271575-14 in the 17th District Court of Tarrant County, Texas, Meloney Perry & Stacy Thompson, Counsel
Plaintiff claimed Defendant was responsible for the motor vehicle accident which resulted in Plaintiff’s injuries, including extensive dental work and plastic surgery to repair a ruptured breast implant. The case was tried to a jury, who awarded the Plaintiff damages in the amount requested by defense counsel. After mediation, Defendant filed an offer of settlement. Post-trial, Perry Law attorneys argued the jury award was offset by the fees and costs incurred defending the case after the offer of settlement was filed, therefore the Defendant owed Plaintiff nothing. The trial Court agreed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling and, for the first time, addressed how calculations under the offer of settlement rule were to be completed.
Bruce Wiseman v. Kyriacos Mavrokordatos; Cause No. CC-14-04823-A in the County Court at Law No. 1 of Dallas County, Texas, Meloney Perry & Stacy Thompson, Counsel
Plaintiff alleged Defendant failed to yield the right of way which caused a debilitating injury to his thumb, including permanent impairment and extensive lost wages. Perry Law attorneys convinced a jury in Dallas County Court at Law #1 to award the Plaintiff less than $9,000, the amount they suggested it award Plaintiff. During the trial, attorneys we were able to discredit the Plaintiff, which led to the lesser amount awarded to him instead of the large verdict requested by Plaintiff.
Joseph Pritchett v. Blake Holley; Cause No. C201400231 in the County Court of Law No. 1 of Johnson County, Texas, Meloney Perry, Counsel
Plaintiff alleged Defendant caused him bodily injury due to an automobile accident. The jury awarded the Plaintiff a small portion of his past medicals which was less than the amount offered by Defendant’s carrier at mediation.
Brittany H. Stephens v. Samantha I. Skinner and Robert L. Sterling; Cause No. 2013-50705-367 in the 367thDistrict Court of Denton County, Texas, Stacy Thompson, Lead Counsel
Plaintiff was rear ended by Defendant and claimed extensive injuries and lost wages as a result of the accident. At trial, Perry Law attorneys discredited the Plaintiff’s exorbitant lost wage claim. The jury awarded Plaintiff $5,000 for all claims, the amount suggested by Perry Law lawyers, instead of the large verdict, originally requested by Plaintiff. The jury verdict was one quarter of the amount Defendant’s carrier offered at mediation.
INSURANCE BAD FAITH
Brian R. Desizlets v. GEICO Casualty Company, Case No. 1:17-cv-00031-CMA-NYW, Meloney Perry & Stacy Thompson, Counsel
Plaintiff claimed GEICO refused to provide him coverage for an accident despite the fact that he paid his premium 8 hours prior to the motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff sued GEICO for breach of contract, common law bad faith, statutory bad faith and violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. At Defendant’s request, Judge Arguello dismissed as a matter of law Plaintiff’s claims for common law bad faith, statutory bad faith and violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act after the Plaintiff rested his case in chief. The dismissal of the Plaintiff’s bad faith claims allowed Defendant to present its case in less than 5 hours and shorten the trial by two days.
The jury took a little less than two hours to return a defense verdict on Plaintiff’s sole remaining claim for breach of contract.
Donald O’Sullivan v. GEICO Casualty Company; Civil Action No. 15-cv-1838-WJM-MJW in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Meloney Perry & Stacy Thompson, Counsel
Plaintiff alleged GEICO did not make an adequate offer of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and requested the Court reform the insurance contract and award extracontractual and statutory delay damages. Prior to trial, the parties entered into a stipulation which left only two issues for a jury to decide, whether a compliant offer of underinsured motorist coverage was made and whether GEICO violated Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 10-3-1115 & 1116 in handling Plaintiff’s claim. The parties disagreed on who had the burden of proof to establish a compliant offer was made under §10-3-609, as it appeared to be an issue of first impression.
On the morning of trial, the Court issued an order holding Defendant had the burden of proof on whether an adequate offer of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage was made to Plaintiff. The jury found Defendant did not unreasonably delay or deny Plaintiff’s claim for benefits.
Meloney Perry has been counsel in multiple arbitration hearings at prior law firms. They included AAA and London Court of International arbitrations and are subject to confidentiality orders.
Alexander Cherones v. Blanchard Homes, Arbitration, Stacy Thompson, Second Chair
Plaintiff claimed his townhome was riddled with defects due to poor construction and Defendant’s failure to obtain a geological survey prior to building. The Arbitrator determined Defendant was responsible for some of the damages claimed by Defendant, however Plaintiff’s failure to maintain his property also contributed. The Arbitrator awarded Plaintiff a small percentage of the damages requested and 10% of his requested attorney’s fees.
COURT OF APPEALS ORAL ARGUMENT
Melvyn Jaramillo and Debbie Jaramillo, No.6:10-cv-01905 JCH/LFG, U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico, Meloney Perry, Lead Counsel
A putative class action brought by insureds alleging the carrier failed to make a valid offer of uninsured/underinsured and that the rejection forms utilized by the companies were improper. The United States District Court granted summary judgment in favor of GEICO which was later affirmed by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Lauren Kaufman, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, et al.; Superior Court of New Jersey Law Division – Monmouth County; Docket No. MON-L-5667-07, Meloney Perry, Lead Counsel
A putative class action brought by nine plaintiffs alleging their insurer failed to provide coverage for the “diminished value” of their vehicles. Meloney Perry obtained a dismissal of all claims against her client.
Stacey Moore, 427 Fed.Appx. 643, 2011 WL 2438656 (10th Cir. 2011), Meloney Perry, Lead Counsel
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in affirming the District Court’s order granting summary judgment for the client, upheld the validity of the carrier’s intentional act exclusion for liability coverage and concluded that it was consistent with Colorado public policy.
Denise Reid, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, Case No. 06-1484, 499 F.3d 1163 (10th Cir. 2007), Meloney Perry, Lead Counsel
Concerned the handling of PIP claims. Favorable ruling on appeal for the client, affirming district court’s summary judgment.
David Tucker v. Government Employees Insurance Company, No. 14-1192 D.C. No. 1:13-CV-01049 United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit, Meloney Perry, Lead Counsel
This was a breach of contract dispute brought by the insured (Tucker) against his insurance carrier after his claim for underinsured motorist benefits (UIM) was denied due to an acting agent rejecting UIM coverage on his behalf. Tucker argued Colorado law required each insured to reject UIM coverage, therefore one named insured could not reject coverage for another insured. The carrier filed a motion for summary judgment arguing one named insured could reject coverage for other named insureds. The district court agreed with the carrier, granted its motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case. The insured appealed the district court’s order to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment granted in favor of Defendant.
CLASS CERTIFICATION HEARINGS ORAL ARGUMENT
Richard Franklin, No. 3:10-cv-05183-BHS, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (Tacoma), Meloney Perry, Lead Counsel
A putative nationwide class action filed in Washington federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act against several of the carrier’s companies. The plaintiff alleged that he and the class should have been compensated for the alleged “diminished value” of his automobile during the adjustment and payment of his uninsured motorist property damage claim. The client successfully defeated the plaintiff’s motion to certify the case as a class action.
Johnson, No. 1:06-cv-408, U.S. District Court, Delaware. Lead Counsel
Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed decertification of class.
Nathan Matthews, Jessica Binder and Michael Binder, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Case No. 01-CV-244, Division 3 in the District Court of El Paso County, Colorado, Meloney Perry, Lead Counsel
This proposed class action was brought by two insureds alleging that the carrier failed to give its insureds statutorily-required written explanations of personal injury protection options prior to contracting. The Court denied Plaintiff’s Motion for Class Certification.
Michelle L. Meadows and Garin Farmer, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Case No. 02-CV1989, District Court, Division 13, County of El Paso, Colorado, Meloney Perry, Lead Counsel
This proposed class action was brought by insureds injured in motorcycle accidents seeking personal injury protection coverage under their automobile insurance policies. Plaintiffs also sought to invalidate a uninsured motorist exclusion in the auto policies. The Court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss and denied Plaintiff’s motion for class certification.
Orlando Galindo, Cause No. 02-5990, 28th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas, Meloney Perry, Lead Counsel
This putative class action was brought by two policyholder insureds and a medical provider, who alleged the carrier improper utilized medical bill review software in its evaluation of personal injury protection claims. Defense counsel obtained a dismissal of the case for its client.
Jon P. Patterson, D.C. and Jon P. Patterson, D.C., P.C., d/b/a Patterson Chiropractic Clinic, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Cause No. C-2673-99-F, 332nd Judicial District Court, Hidalgo County, Texas, Meloney Perry, Lead Counsel
This putative class action was brought by medical providers who alleged that their patients’ bills (insureds) were allegedly improperly reduced or paid by the carrier who allegedly improperly utilized medical bill review software. The plaintiff also brought claims on behalf of a class consisting of patients (the insureds). After 10 years, the 13th Court of Appeals overturned original court’s class certification.
Ramona Woodson, Case No. 98-13063; 201st District Court of Travis County, Texas. Meloney Perry, Counsel
This case involved an alleged conspiracy of several insurers to discriminate in its rate setting by using zip codes. Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification was denied after a three-day hearing. Class action denied.