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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Juror Comments on the $ 37 Million Bad Faith Verdict

Here is the link to juror comments on the $ 37 million bad faith verdict for rescission of a health care policy. Some excerpts are pasted below:

“In the case of Jennifer Latham, who was badly injured in 2005 when her car was broadsided by a meth dealer fleeing cops, Assurant denied her claim because ambiguous information about a uterine condition and an ER visit for a panic attack wasn’t disclosed in the application she submitted months earlier. As first reported here, the jury decided after six hours to award Latham and her two youngest children $37.3 million, including economic and punitive damages — the largest bad-faith judgment against an insurance company in Colorado history. But some jurors wanted to award even more. Jury foreman Dan Vela says he was in favor of awarding Latham $150 million as a way of punishing the insurance company. “They didn’t have a leg to stand on,” says Vela, a general manager for a seamless gutter company. “I hope we sent a message back to them that this was wrong.”

Jurors contacted by Westword say that Assurant failed to prove that Latham deliberately misrepresented her health on her application or that the company had conducted a reasonable investigation before revoking her coverage. Testimony indicated that the company’s “rescission panel” reviewed more than a hundred cases in two hours — “68 seconds apiece,” as Latham attorney Marc Levy put it in his closing argument.

“We had to determine who was lying,” says juror Denise Kaatz, a production manager for a Louisville apparel company. “Most of their witnesses seemed dishonest, defensive and just showed a basic lack of humanity. It was kind of frightening.”

“I was blown away by just how much they acted like robots,” adds Vela.

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