Missouri child's brain injuries result in $5 million settlement

A Missouri mom and her three young children were taking a Saturday drive
to the library when tragedy struck. As the woman slowed her car to a near
stop to turn left into the library parking lot, it was slammed into at
60 mph by a pick-up truck.

The violent collision left the woman’s child, just a year and a half
old at the time, with traumatic
brain injuries.

His family recently settled a Jackson County Circuit Court case against
the pick-up driver’s insurance company for $5 million, according
to a report.

The accident was in January of 2010 in Smithville, north of Kansas City.

According to the report, the family and pick-up driver’s insurance
company agreed to settle last year for the limit of the driver’s
policy: $300,000.

However, the company apparently balked at setting up what the judge called
a “structured settlement.”

The family had requested that the compensation be in the form of an annuity
for the child with the traumatic brain injury and his two siblings. The
judge approved.

Yet the insurer balked and litigation resumed. When the pick-up driver
declared bankruptcy, it reportedly became clear that he had insurance
coverage beyond what was originally believed to exist, all with the same
insurer, which had failed to disclose to the court the existence of the
additional coverage.

The judge said the insurance company’s “material misrepresentations”
compelled him to void the $300,000 settlement in the best interests of
the children. The case then moved toward trial before the $5 million settlement
was reached with the help of the family’s personal injury attorneys.

Source: Missouri Lawyers Weekly,
“Settlement balloons after insurer balks at annuity,” Scott Lauck, April 7, 2014

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