SOURCE: Schlesinger Law Offices

June 20, 2013 09:00 ET

Broward Jury Orders Allstate to Pay Woman $1.29 Million After SUV Rollover Accident

Lawyer With Schlesinger Law Offices Helps Hollywood Resident Fight Allstate Insurance Company for Refusal to Honor Policy

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwired - June 20, 2013) -  Charles Patrick, an attorney with the personal injury law firm Schlesinger Law Offices, won a $1.29 million jury verdict against Allstate Insurance Company on behalf of his client, Theresa Karl. Karl was injured on April 3, 2008 when she was hit while at a stop sign in Hollywood, suffering injuries amounting to nearly $300,000 in medical expenses. Karl's Allstate Insurance policy included coverage for an underinsured driver, which was the case of the motorist who hit her, but Allstate refused to pay.

According to the complaint, Karl was struck when a vehicle operated by Matthew Candelaria ran a stop sign and broadsided her car, which rolled over twice due to the significant impact. She was unconscious, hospitalized and underwent painful and extensive medical care and treatment. She will continue to need rehabilitative care, surgical treatments and radiological studies. 

Her policy with Allstate specifically stipulated that she would be covered for up to $1.25 million in case of an accident with an underinsured driver, but Allstate chose not to honor the policy. Patrick sued Allstate for her medical bills and pain and suffering. 

"It is unconscionable -- but sadly all too typical -- that an insurance carrier would refuse to pay for exactly what a policy is designed to do," said Patrick. "Theresa Karl is a conscientious driver and policy holder and had the forethought to pay for this type of coverage. We are pleased with the jury's verdict that not only includes the medical expenses but an additional $1 million for her loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life."

Patrick added that Allstate went to great lengths to avoid payment, including hiring a team of five investigators to perform more than 90 hours of surveillance on Karl. The company placed much of its case on noting that Karl participated in a "Kangoo" boot exercise class which was recommended by one of her physicians to strengthen her core in an attempt to avoid lower back surgery. Allstate argued that the video tape indicated nothing wrong despite multiple MRI studies that showed she had two ruptured lumbar discs. The "Kangoo" exercise instructor testified that the boots were used by patients who had undergone hip and knee replacements and those who suffered spinal injuries to absorb most of the impact from exercising.

"The Kangoo instructor brought her boots to Court and put on a demonstration of how they worked by jumping around in the Courtroom. Karl only participated in the class for several months since her lower back symptoms did not improve. She underwent surgery on her back the next year," added Patrick.

Karl's doctors testified that her injuries were permanent, and even one of Allstate's experts corroborated that diagnosis. However, Allstate continued to assert otherwise to avoid paying. The jury found that Karl's injuries were permanent and assessed $1,000,000.00 for her loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life and $296,337.54 for her past and future medical expenses for a total verdict of $1,296,337.54. The Court had previously ruled that the underinsured motorist who hit Theresa Karl was liable for the accident and that there was no comparative negligence on her part.

About Schlesinger Law Offices:

Schlesinger Law Offices, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a personal injury law firm focused on holding big corporations and major manufacturers accountable for the harm they cause and the damage suffered by the general public through acts of negligence and misconduct. The firm is currently working on cases involving Big Tobacco, Accutane medication, defective medical devices, and defective drug products. For more information log on to www.schlesingerlawoffices.com.

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