Experience

Won on bad faith claims for USAA in the Waldo Canyon wildfire trial.

Jewkes v. USAA (D. Colo. 2015)

WTO defended USAA against bad faith and breach of insurance contract claims following the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire, which erupted outside of Colorado Springs and made national headlines as the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history (until the Black Forest Fire exceeded the damage just a year later). 32,000 residents were forced to flee their homes, and 346 homes were destroyed by the fire.

The plaintiff’s home was across the street from the forest; her house was not burned, but she claimed extensive damage to her home from extreme heat and smoke. The plaintiff had demanded $1 million at mediation. She voluntarily dismissed one claim before trial, lost another, and ultimately the jury found USAA’s adjustment of her insurance claim was reasonable and awarded contract damages of just $81,000.

Successfully defended insurer USAA in an insurance bad faith and breach of contract trial arising out of the devastating Waldo Canyon wildfire of 2012. The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed one claim the morning of trial, lost another claim, and was awarded just five figures on the third claim after having demanded more than $1 million.