Perseverance to Achieve Justice - Handling a Bankrupt Defendant and Court Delay
Karen will always remember Labor Day. It was about 8:30 p.m. when she left a party at Lake Zoar in Derby. She was walking on the shoulder of the road, with her back to traffic as she looked for her friend's car on the dark highway. Suddenly, and without warning, she was hit by a car. Her next memory was waking up in agonizing pain in the hospital. Karen broke her left leg in 2 spots, which required insertion of a steel rod and screws.
The man who hit Karen immediately denied his responsibility for this tragedy claiming that she appeared suddenly in the middle of the road so that he could not avoid hitting her. Because she admitted drinking six or seven beers which raised her blood alcohol level, the police blamed her and considered arresting her for reckless use of the highway by a pedestrian. Within a short time of the accident, the defendant went bankrupt because of other financial obligations that wiped out any claim against him directly for her injuries, except for a $50,000 insurance policy he maintained with the Allstate Insurance Company.
To make things worse, Karen was abandoned by her treating physician who refused to remove the rod in her leg because his bill was unpaid. Allstate refused to pay the $50,000 gambling on the fact that it might win the case and the most it would have to pay was the $50,000.
Karen was despondent. No one gave her hope, but Attorney Frank Bailey of Tremont & Sheldon was finally able to present her story during her trial in the Milford courthouse. After hearing the case, it took the jury only one hour to find the defendant responsible and award Karen $320,000. Now Allstate agreed to pay its $50,000, but Attorney Bailey refused to accept it, demanding full payment of the jury verdict because of Allstate's bad faith. Allstate hired new lawyers and went to the United States District Court to claim a bankruptcy protection which Tremont & Sheldon successfully defeated. Finally, the Milford trial judge ruled totally against Allstate and awarded Karen an additional $224,000 in interest based upon our offer of judgment.