The 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, which is the Federal Court Appeals for the States of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama has revived a case against Progressive American Insurance Co. in which the auto-insurance carrier has been sued by its own customer, by and through an assignment of his rights to the injured parties, for willfully acting in bad faith to settle a claim for which he was at fault exposing him to a long litigation process, ridicule, loss of assets and a Judgement on his credit record which can severely damage a person’s credit rating, their ability to obtain a mortgage or other lines of credit.
This suit originates from an underlying personal injury claim in which Progressive’s customer caused a car accident that severely injured a mother and her four minor children. The children ranged in age from two to twelve. The mother and the three oldest children suffered numerous orthopedic injuries while the 2-year-old suffered a traumatic brain injury rendering him a paraplegic. Progressive failed to settle these claims within the available insurance coverage of $500,000 in policy limits. Since they did not effectively act to settle the case, its customer was sued and a jury awarded a 50 million dollar verdict against him. This lawsuit against Progressive was dismissed by the trial judge; however, this 11th Circuit decision revives the case and will allow a jury to decide if Progressive acted in bad faith as is alleged.
The case is Yolanda Aldana et al. v. Progressive American Ins. Co., case number 19-12950, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.