09 February, 2024

QPWB Overcomes Aggressive Strategy In Insurance Defense Appeal, Turning Judgement of Initial Third-Party Claim Decision

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In: Verdicts

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Quintairos, Prieto, Wood, & Boyer, PA., Dallas-Hub Associate, Steven Wood's unwavering determination overcame the aggressive tactics of the Plaintiff's attorney to secure a victory in appellate court, where the judge upheld the trial court's decision in favor of our client, settling the matter regarding the validity of the insurance policy and its impact on third-party claims made on a voided policy.

Overview of the Case

  1. Insurance companies filed suit against the insured individual.
  2. The suit aimed to void the insurance policy due to the insured's material misrepresentations about vehicle ownership and noncooperation in defending a third-party claim.
  3. The third-party claimant also sued the insured and obtained a right of subrogation against the insurers.
  4. The trial court determined that voiding the policy made the third-party claimant's claims irrelevant.
  5. The appellate court Judge reopened the motion for a Summary Judgement and affirmed the trial court's decision.
  6. Consequently, the insurers were not liable to pay the third-party claimant's $125,000 judgment against the insured.

Claims Made Against the Client

  1. The third-party claimant alleged that the insurers were liable for a $125,000 judgment taken against the insured pursuant to the Stower's doctrine which notates that a liability insurer that undertakes the defense of an insured has a duty to act in good faith in settling a liability claim.

Defending Appeal Turning Judgement

  1. Wood noted that the Plaintiff's Attorney he faced was the most aggressive lawyer in his 23-year career, and constantly found himself on the defense as he filed every conceivable motion to secure victory.
  2. Despite this, he was bolstered by solid facts and legal grounds.
  3. During the trial, QPWB successfully persuaded the judge to reverse a prior decision denying the motion for summary judgment and to issue a final judgment favoring our client.
  4. QPWB's difference-making argument centered on the principle that no insurance company should bear liability for claims once its policy is voided from its inception.
  5. Given the unprecedented nature of the case, devoid of legal precedent, QPWB appealed to notions of fairness and common sense to drive home the point.
  6. Both the trial judge and the appellate justices were persuaded by QPWB's argument that the clients had been prejudiced by the insured's material misrepresentations and failure to cooperate and should not be bound by the terms of the policy under those circumstances.

Predicting the Future

  1. QPWB advises insurance clients dealing with dishonest insureds to consider retaining our services for analyzing whether to file suit against the insureds to void the policy. This proactive approach can potentially save them considerable time and capital. It circumvents the need to defend and potentially indemnify dishonest or uncooperative insureds, whose actions may have compromised the clients' ability to mount a robust defense against third-party claims.

About QPWB

Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., is the largest minority-owned law firm in the nation with jurisdiction in 45 states and territories in the U.S. allowing us to serve a broad spectrum of industries with over 100 areas of practice. Our lawyers provide representation for businesses and their leaders in litigation, regulatory, and corporate matters.

Discover the QPWB Difference

Learn More

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