Bad faith is hard to prove in Texas. The standards for getting a bad faith judgment are high standards. But it can be done. It just depends on the circumstances of the case.
The Telegraph, a Macon Georgia, newspaper published the results of a bad faith case involving Geico insurance. The article is titled, Federal Jury Finds Geico Acted In Bad Faith, Awards Smiths Station Cyclist $2.763 Million.
Here is what the article tells us.
A federal court jury awarded a Smiths Station man $2.763 million because an insurance company acted in bad faith after he suffered injuries in a 2012 accident in which he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle.
Geico, which insured the motorist who hit Terry Guthrie refused to settle the claim for the policy limits shortly after the accident and acted in bad faith throughout the legal process, according to court documents.
Geico could have settled for $30,000 back in 2012, according to Guthrie’s attorney, Charles Gower. Guthrie suffered back and neck injuries. Instead, Geico offered less than $12,500, which was not much more than his $10,000 in medical bills.
Guthrie was hit by an SUV driven by Bonnie Winslett, and the fact that Winslett was responsible for the accident which knocked Guthrie off his bike and into a utility pole was not disputed, according to court records. After the accident, Geico informed Winslett that it would handle the matter with Guthrie’s attorney, Gower.
Guthrie did not have medical insurance and was unable to obtain additional medical care needed after the accident. Three months after the accident, Gower sent Geico a letter offering to settle the case for the policy limits. Geico refused and offered to settle it for $12,409, according to court records. Attorneys for Guthrie claimed that by not settling the case for the policy limits, it exposed Winslett to financial risk.
Clearly, Geico’s decision to fight the involuntary bankruptcy was not motivated by any interest to protect Bonnie, who only stood to benefit from the bankruptcy, but was driven entirely by Geico’s desire to protect itself from the bad faith lawsuit it knew would be forthcoming from the bankruptcy trustee if the involuntary bankruptcy proceeded.