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Won a complete jury verdict for an insurance carrier in a bellwether bad faith trial involving Nunn agreements.

Date: 04.03.19

In a case closely watched by the Colorado legal community, WTO attorneys won a jury verdict for an insurance company in a bellwether trial. WTO and the client also prevailed on the defendant’s bad faith counterclaim.

The injured claimant’s personal injury law firm persuaded the policyholder to enter into a Nunn agreement following a car accident, on the basis that WTO’s client had not paid an early, time-limited demand for policy limits when little was known about the claim. Under that arrangement, the policyholder waived a jury trial and agreed to an arbitration presided over by an arbitrator selected and paid solely by the claimant’s personal injury law firm, which virtually guaranteed unreasonably high arbitration awards.

Under the Nunn agreement, the policyholder also (1) waived the right to appeal the arbitration award, (2) passed financial responsibility for the award to the insurance company, (3) agreed to cooperate with the injured party’s lawyers—even when their respective interests conflicted (4) agreed to cooperate in a bad faith lawsuit against WTO’s client. The policyholder entered into the Nunn agreement without our client’s permission and in breach of the plain language of the policy contract.

The jury deliberated for approximately two hours before delivering its verdict for WTO’s client on every claim and counterclaim. The verdict sends a strong message that Colorado juries will not tolerate such tactics.

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