We all have many scenarios that could result in significant accidental harm to others. Do you have teenage drivers? Have 2nd homes? Have a boat, jet ski, etc.? Have a pool? Have parties? Have people over to your house? Driver others in your car? Late night driving? Facebook or Social Media postings?
Accidents come in many forms and in many cases can’t be foreseen.
The insureds hosted a beach party for their daughter. One of the attendees found what was believed to be an empty and discarded propane tank. The tank was thrown into a beach bonfire and subsequently exploded resulting in severe injuries to several guests. A $20,000,000 claim was filed alleging the insured failed to properly supervise the party.
Older gentleman sells his business and moves to the country. Late one evening he slowly pulls his car into a two lane country road, doesn’t see an oncoming car and hits the other vehicle. It is a horrific claim where a 21 year old male ends up in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. A good law firm is hired to secure funds for their disabled client, the 21 year old. The older gentleman had personal auto limits of $300,000, with no personal umbrella. It turns out he had sold his company for about $6 million. The claim settles for the $300K auto policy plus about $3.2 million in personal funds from the gentleman. The old adage, “You don’t have to be a millionaire, to be sued like one.” is really true. But if you are a millionaire you REALLY should have a personal umbrella!
A Summer Barbecue Turns Into A Swimming Pool Tragedy
The Facts: With his parent’s permission, a young high school student invited a group of friends over for a summer barbecue and pool party. Although the parents allowed their son to invite friends over, they were not home at the time. At 9:00 PM, a friend arrived, who was not familiar with the house or pool area. He was there just 20 minutes when he ran across the terrace and dove into the pool, approximately 12 feet from the shallow end. The young man hosting the party saw his friend running toward the pool, but did not warn him that he was about to dive into the shallow end. As a result, the boy age 19 was treated for spinal cord injury. He was paralyzed below mid-chest with 80% use of one arm and 30% use of the other. In a complaint filed in Superior Court, the young man filed suit to seek damages for: Physical and emotional injuries, Pain & suffering, Loss of enjoyment of life and Lifetime income loss. Due to the Alleged inadequate supervision, Failure to indicate the shallow and deep ends of the pool, Failure to adequately illuminate and Failure to warn, the boys parents filed suit to seek damages for: Medical costs incurred on behalf of their son and Loss of consortium for their son.
The Settlement: The claimant received a total of $2,000,000 in the settlement of this case. The parents of the boy hosting the party had excess liability insurance in the amount of $10,000,000. Had this coverage not been in place, imagine the financial consequences of their loss.
What do you think they would have sued you for?