Following a trial that stretched nearly three weeks, a Philadelphia County jury returned a verdict on behalf of our client, announcing a finding of fraud against a national insurance brokerage, USI Midatlantic, Inc., and two of its employees. The jury awarded $500,000 to two Bristol Township police officers who were injured in the line of duty. Although these two officers had already received more than $8 million in recoveries and benefits, the jury found that USI employees committed fraud by producing a backdated waiver form, claiming that the form was valid and enforceable and served to reject uninsured motorist coverage under Pennsylvania law. By doing so, USI Midatlantic attempted to conceal their own failure to obtain this form at the time the policy was initially issued, and further attempted to deprive these two devastatingly injured police officers of millions of dollars in uninsured motorist benefits.
The jury also found USI liable for intentional interference with contractual relations and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, awarding $250,000 to each officer for the emotional distress and other damages caused by the Defendant’s misconduct. At trial, attorneys Mark W. Tanner and Peter M. Newman represented one officer, and Gerald A. McHugh, Jr., Esquire represented the other. Currently, we have filed post-trial motions on behalf of these two officers, asking the Court to impanel a new jury to hear evidence in support of the officers’ punitive damages claims against these Defendants who were found liable for fraud.
USI defended the case vigorously, contending that there was no fraud, and further that the officers had already been fully compensated, citing the fact that they had received over $8 million in benefits, as well as worker’s compensation benefits for their wages and medical expenses. USI further attempted to blame the lawyers who assisted these officers in obtaining their underlying benefits, arguing that they worked to “set up” USI for the very fraud claim that was being tried.
At the conclusion of the three week trial, the jury rejected all of USI’s defenses, and found the Defendants liable on all counts. Our lawyers argued to the jury that, while the Plaintiffs had been fully and fairly compensated for their injuries, there is no such thing as partial justice, and these officers will not receive justice if USI’s fraud goes unaddressed.
USI is one of the eight largest insurance brokerage firms in the United States, operating from 80 offices in 20 states. It is the single largest privately held insurance brokerage, a wholly owned subsidiary of USI Holdings, which is a constituent member of Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.