Arbella Hit With Unfair Settlement Practice

The Massachusetts Appeals Court, sitting in Boston, recently found that Arbella Mutual Insurance acted in an unfair and deceptive manner in respect to its insured and their claim for personal injury damages resulting from a car accident. Like the Boston personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Neil Burns, a personal injury attorney is best equipped to present your personal injury claim to an insurance company. As this note demonstrates, insurance companies do not always treat their insureds, who are injured in car accidents, fairly.

The case was decided on August 30, 2010, and involved Arbella and the passenger in the vehicle Arbella insured. The vehicle driven by Arbella insured was involved in a car accident and the passenger was subsequently injured. The passenger retained counsel, and after months of waiting for Arbella to respond to her demand for damages, her attorney sent a demand letter to Arbella. Arbella waited five months to respond to the demand letter, and then waited an additional seven months to proffer settlement money.
Quite simply, the Court found Arbella’s conduct outrageous, or in simple legal terms–unfair and deceptive. The Appeals Court thus upheld the lower Court ruling whereby Arbella was ordered to pay multiple damages, prejudgment interest, costs and attorney fees. The Court upheld the lower court’s ruling that doubled the interest, costs and attorney fees. The case was remanded in order for the lower court to assess additional damages against Arbella.
This case gives little doubt as to the Court’s position regarding fairly treating an insured where liability and damages are clear. In Massachusetts, the clear onus in this situation rests squarely with the insurance company.
The case is Gore v. Arbella Mutual Insurance Co. (Docket No. 09-P-56) (Aug. 30, 2010).