FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2006
Contact: Eric. W. Boyer, Esq.
305-670-1101 Ext. 123
QPWB ZEROES OUT PLAINTIFF’S INSURANCE CLAIM SETTLEMENT IN ARBITRATION HEARING
TAMPA, FL – Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB)won a victory for its client, Admiral Insurance Company (Admiral) in an arbitration that took place on August 10, 2006. Parties in attendance were Derek Daniels of McCumber, Inclan, Daniels, Buntz, Hartig & Puig, P.A. and Peter J. Molinelli, managing partner of QPWB’s Tampa office. Although not in attendance, Sheila K. Nicholson authored the position paper for the Arbitration.
The matter concerned a dispute between Admiral and Columbia Casualty Insurance Company (Columbia) as to the amount of money each should contribute to a $100,000.00 negotiated settlement for a nursing home resident, Carrie Johnson’s, alleged injuries during her residency.
Johnson was a resident at Arcadia Healthcare, L.L.C. d/b/a Dove Healthcare of Lake Wales (Dove Healthcare) from May 28, 1999 through September 22, 2003. Admiral insured Dove Healthcare from December 1, 1998 through December 1, 1999. Columbia insured Dove Healthcare from July 1, 2002 through July 1, 2004 with a retro application date of July 1, 2001 and then also from July 1, 2003 through July 1, 2005 with a retro application date of July 1, 2001.
On January 29, 2004 Plaintiff, the Estate of Carrie Johnson, filed a lawsuit against Dove Healthcare alleging that a September 22, 2003 fall led to Johnson’s death on December 12, 2003.
Dove Healthcare negotiated a settlement with the plaintiff for $100,000 and each (Admiral and Colombia) agreed to same: reserving the right to arbitrate the issue as to what amount of money, if any, each should contribute to said settlement.
Brian Davis, claims adjuster for Columbia, after agreeing to the settlement took the position that Columbia should only be responsible for the risk of loss associated with 11 months of Johnson’s residency representing a 21% pro rata share of the $100,000.00 settlement or $21,000.00.
Thereafter, Daniels, plaintiff’s counsel, argued that Columbia, pursuant to the “other insurance” clauses contained in both insurance policies, had no risk related to the settlement of the lawsuit against Dove Healthcare and therefore, Columbia should pay $0 toward the $100,000.00 settlement.
Molinelli, defense counsel, argued the “other insurance” clauses contained in both insurance policies were moot as neither policy overlapped with the other policy thereby becoming “other insurance.” Accordingly, Molinelli argued that Columbia was responsible for the settlement of the underlying lawsuit because it insured Dove Healthcare when Johnson fell resulting in the pelvic fracture, the main precipitating event for this claim.
The arbitrator, Robert Lancaster, agreed with Molinelli. He was not persuaded that the “other insurance” clauses applied in light of the gap of Admiral’s policy expiring on December 1, 1999 and the beginning of Columbia’s policy on or about October 4, 2002 and ordered that Columbia pay Admiral $35,000.00 towards settlement.