October 4, 2018
Bresky Law recently assisted a husband and wife in obtaining entitlement to attorney’s fees in their suit for declaratory judgment to establish coverage arising from an automobile accident.
The Plaintiffs were injured in an automobile accident in which they were driven off the road by a phantom vehicle. The Plaintiffs eventually were forced to file an action against their insurer for declaratory judgment to determine the existence of insurance coverage under the uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM”) provision of their insurance policy.
The suit lasted several years, during which time the insurer took various actions amounting to an effective denial of coverage that forced Plaintiffs to litigate unnecessarily. The insurer’s actions included twice removing the case to federal court, filing several motions to dismiss, denying coverage in its Response to Requests for Admissions, and then eventually admitting coverage at the hearing on motion for summary judgment. The court rendered a final judgment in which it determined that UM coverage existed, the amount of the coverage, and the priority of coverage under the terms of the two insurance policies at issue.
Plaintiffs filed a motion for attorney’s fees and we appeared as co-counsel for Plaintiffs to assist. We prepared and filed a detailed memorandum explaining why Plaintiffs were entitled to fees under the applicable law. We also assisted the trial attorney at the hearing on fee entitlement. The trial court granted our clients entitlement to attorney’s fees, and ordered that the matter be set for an evidentiary hearing to determine the amount of fees to which our clients are entitled. This favorable result for our client will allow them to obtain an award of attorney’s fees for the litigation unnecessarily caused by the insurance company in disputing coverage.