Representative Settlements

Since the year 2000, The Law Office of Samuel G. Livingston, P.C., has settled or obtained verdicts for over $25 million in bad faith and personal injury verdicts and settlements. Given the nature of bad faith litigation, many of these settlements remain confidential per the insurance company, although the matters listed below are exempted from that requirement and represent some of the more significant settlements of public record obtained by The Law Office of Samuel G. Livingston, P.C., over the last 10 years.(Meat Market) v. American Family involved a fire at a local restaurant that was still under construction. Prior to the loss, the insureds had signed, but not completed, an insurance application with American Family and the policy had not been issued. Immediately after the loss, American Family issued a policy that underinsured (meat Market) by approximately $250,000 and thereby prohibited the company from undertaking efforts to rebuild the restaurant. American Family also failed to pay lost wage benefits to officers and directors of the company. A representative of American Family's agent office testified that she had asked the insureds to sign their application in a blank format to be completed by the agent at a later time. Ultimately, during the litigation, three separate versions of the application were located during discovery indicating that American Family employees completed the application without input from the insureds following the loss, and one of the applications actually provided more than adequate coverage for the structural components of the (Meat Market) restaurant. After discovery of three separate applications completed by American Family surrounding the loss, the company settled for $2 million.

Watts v. State Farm involved another situation where the insured was underinsured after a fire loss. Following the Bobcat wildfire near Fort Collins in 2000, plaintiff Kay Watts contacted her State Farm agent to make sure she had sufficient homeowners coverage and believed that her agent visited the premises several weeks later to upgrade her coverage to satisfactory levels. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Watts' home burned down in an unrelated fire and she was informed by State Farm that her house was roughly 50 percent insured in terms of both the structure and belongings contained inside the home. Ms. Watts notified State Farm that she had contacted her agent shortly before the fire to upgrade coverage. A State Farm adjuster wrote back several weeks later to the effect that the agent had never come to the premises nor increased coverage. The matter was then referred by and co-counseled with the firm of Bachus & Schanker. During the course of litigation, the agent acknowledged that he did come to the home in order to upgrade coverage, but had failed to download the information properly into his computer so that it would be part of the State Farm underwriting system. He also admitted that this consideration was disclosed on multiple occasions to the same State Farm adjuster who had written Ms. Watts indicating that the agent was never present or made any adjustments to coverage. As reported by Channel 9 News "A two-year legal battle began. It was resolved in December of 2002 with Watts getting a $3.75 million settlement. The settlement happened after Watts' State Farm agent testified under oath that he did evaluate her home, in spite of State Farm's denials. 'The agent admitted he was there. She (Kay Watts) did have enough insurance,' says attorney Livingston." State Farm settlement checks totaling $3.75 million were paid to resolve a property damage loss of approximately $300,000 before the claim was denied.

(A Carbondale Family) v. American Family involved another fire loss situation where (a Carbondale family) repeatedly encountered delays and denials at the hands of American Family that attempted to significantly underpay the home structural repair and contents owed following a residential fire loss. Although the (A Carbondale Family) had a frame-built home at the time of the loss, American Family attempted to estimate and replace the home based upon a modular home that was significantly less expensive given the location of the (A Carbondale Family) residence outside of Aspen, Colorado. American Family also refused to pay for extensive personal property located in the garage at the home and refused to either affirm or deny coverage after an extensive investigation. Ultimately, the insured moved for summary judgment as to both the structural components of the loss and unpaid personal property items during the spring of 2005 that American Family could not even respond to, ultimately resulting in American Family simply paying $536,718 in late April of 2005. One month later, in June of 2005, the company paid an additional $1.5 million to compensate the (A Carbondale Family) for punitive and bad faith damages.