The rejection of a $250,000 claim has ultimately cost insurance giant Allstate $22 million
following a settlement this week with the victim of a 2009 car accident. The agreement is the largest insurance bad faith settlement in Pennsylvania history, and the largest involving a motor vehicle accident in the nation, according to Ross Felley Casey, which represented the victim.
Patrick Hennessy, of Feasterville, Pa., won a $19.1 million jury verdict in May 2013 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas that was upheld in April 2014 by Common Pleas Judge Milton Younge. Allstate delayed the payment with denied appeals to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, resulting in additional fees tacked to the original judgment. The settlement is 88 times the amount of the originally available insurance policy limits that Hennessy sought.
At about 2 a.m. on July 26, 2009, Hennessy was a passenger in a vehicle driven by the friend, Ryan Caruso, when the car rear-ended another vehicle being driven northbound on the boulevard by Bruce Reikow.
Hennessy and Caruso got out of their vehicle to push the car to the side of the road when the plaintiff was struck by a vehicle driven by Shawn Robertson, Jr., crushing his limb.
Reikow had originally been named as a defendant in the case but he was later dismissed from the litigation. Robertson apparently never responded to the suit leading a judge to enter a default judgment against him.
Hennessy, who was 24 years old at the time of the accident, sustained injuries so severe as to eventually warrant the amputation of his right leg above the knee.