Man Awarded $1.3 Million in Lawsuit Against NJ Insurer for Uninsured-Motorist Benefits

Camden County in New Jersey has awarded $1.3 million to a man who was injured in a motor vehicle accident. The man, Kevin Bland, filed a claim against his own insurer, New Jersey Manufacturers, for uninsured-motorist benefits. The jury trial took three days and the verdict was reached on August 10 before Superior Court Judge Judith Charny. Bland’s injuries included a tear in his lateral meniscus and bulging discs in the lumbar spine. His lawyers stated that he received injections and physical therapy for his injuries.

During the trial, both sides presented medical experts. Dr. David Weisband from Regional Orthopedics testified as the plaintiff’s expert, while Dr. Robert Falconairo from Turnersville served as the medical expert for New Jersey Manufacturers. The complaint was later amended to include pleadings under the New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act, which allows claimants to file civil actions in response to unreasonable denial or delay of coverage. The act holds insurers liable for trebled damages, in addition to pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees, and litigation expenses.

Bland’s policy with New Jersey Manufacturers had $300,000 in uninsured motorist coverage. It was reported that the insurer did not make an offer in the case. Bland’s legal counsel, John Borbi and Vanessa P. Patrizi, now plan to seek discovery directly from New Jersey Manufacturers for the claims file. Furthermore, Patrizi will become a witness in the bad faith phase of the case.

Moving away from New Jersey, an $800,000 settlement was reached in the case of a motorcyclist from Elizabeth who was seriously injured in a collision with another motorist. Geo Jimenez, the injured party, alleged that the other driver suddenly pulled into his path while attempting a left turn. Jimenez sustained injuries that required surgery and additional future care. The case was settled on the morning the trial was set to begin in Essex County. The driver at fault was insured by Allstate and was represented by Thomas Wester of Tango, Dickinson, McDermott & McGee.

The settlement is expected to help Jimenez pursue his interest in starting his own eCommerce business, as he does not anticipate returning to his previous manufacturing work.