Thursday, December 4, 2008

$2.5 Million Award to Injured 72-Year-Old Pedestrian Reduced to $600,000 UIM Policy Limit

A Stamford judge (D'Andrea, J.T.R.) awarded non-economic damages of $2.5 million to a 72-year-old, Helen Powell, who had her leg amputated above the knee, after a driver crashed into her in a parking lot. The plaintiff also broke her clavicle, toe and hip. After the crash she was depressed and wished that she had died. She spent four months in the hospital and rehabilitation facilities, and later sold her multi-level condo where she lived for 30 years and moved into an apartment near a relative. The plaintiff remains depressed and has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress syndrome.

The plaintiff obtained the $20,000 maximum from the driver's insurance policy and sought to collect underinsured-motorist (UIM) benefits from her own insurance company, The Standard Fire Insurance Co. The court awarded $2.5 million in non-economic damages but since the insurer’s policy limit was only $600,000, the court reduced the award to $600,000. The court then subtracted the $20,000 received from the driver and awarded $580,000 in non-economic damages.

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