Mark Thomas and Ryleigh Keeney obtained a favorable jury verdict on behalf of their client, State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, in an underinsured motorist claim in Polk County, Iowa. The case arose out of a rollover motor vehicle accident that occurred in Des Moines, Iowa in which the plaintiff was seeking underinsured motorist benefits under her State Farm policy. In order for a plaintiff to succeed on an underinsured motorist claim, the plaintiff must obtain a jury verdict in excess of the tortfeasor’s policy limits. If a jury returns a verdict below the tortfeasor’s policy limits, the plaintiff is not entitled to underinsured motorist benefits from their insurer.
In this case, the parties agreed that the tortfeasor was negligent in the operation of his motor vehicle and, as such, the case was tried solely on damages. After a three-day jury trial, a Polk County jury returned a verdict that awarded the plaintiff damages below the tortfeasor’s policy limits.
Polk County Law No. LACL145909