Murray & Murray and their client Bobby Brummitt of Castalia, after more than 5 years of hard fought legal battles against Ohio Mutual Insurance Group, have finally brought about justice as to Mr. Brummitt’s insurance claim. The latest victories were the 2nd and 3rd jury trials which have been conducted in the Erie County Common Pleas Court of Judge Roger Binette, culminating with a jury’s verdict on February 3, 2016. That jury specifically found that Ohio Mutual Insurance Group committed bad faith in the handling of their insured, Bobby Brummitt’s, underinsured motorist claim from a collision in 2010. Murray & Murray partners Dennis E. Murray, Sr. and Florence J. Murray represented Mr. Brummitt.
This matter started out with severe injuries sustained by Mr. Brummitt on September 25, 2010 while he was insured by United Ohio, a subsidiary of Ohio Mutual. That collision had tragically taken the life of his sister-in-law, Vicky Brummitt, and severely injured his wife Faye and his brother Willard Brummitt. Ohio Mutual was ordered by the first jury in the one week trial that ended on April 24, 2013 to pay to Mr. Brummitt the sum of $213,722 for his injuries. This verdict was after Ohio Mutual offered nothing until after Mr. Brummitt was forced to hire an attorney. Even after hiring Murray & Murray, Ohio Mutual only offered $166,666.
Following the 2013 trial, Mr. Brummitt and Murray & Murray still continued to pursue Ohio Mutual for its bad faith handling of Mr. Brummitt’s claim. Murray and Murray established during the 2nd trial that ended last week, just one day before the 3rd trial, that Ohio Mutual had breached its duties to Mr. Brummitt by not timely offering to settle with him, by not paying to him the monies that were owing to him, and by completely failing to take into consideration those matters that related to the well-being of their insured, Mr. Brummitt. Ohio Mutual’s claims adjuster and litigation specialist admitted during the trial that Ohio Mutual had provided conflicts of interest incentives, in the form of compensation bonuses, for its claims handling staff to keep payments to such Ohio Mutual insureds lower than Ohio Mutual internally concluded that it should reserve for those injuries. After a third week of the 2nd trial, the Erie County jury then separately awarded to Mr. Brummitt an additional $352,277 in damages from the bad faith conduct of Ohio Mutual; and, in the third trial immediately thereafter the jury found that Ohio Mutual had acted maliciously and should also pay punitive damages of $250,000 to Bobby Brummitt and to pay attorney fees to Murray & Murray for the efforts of Dennis Murray and Florence Murray.
With the latest jury verdicts, Ohio Mutual Insurance has paid and/or been ordered to pay $1,010,096.39 to Mr. Brummitt, plus attorney fees to Murray & Murray.
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