$3.0 million awarded for insurer bad faith!.
Dominic Peressini, age 39, is a former University of Colorado math professor. When he was severely injured in an automobile accident, he had never considered that recovery of his $125,000 in lost wages would depend on the trust which he had placed in his insurer American Family Mutual Insurance Co. Unfortunately for Mr. Peressini - during the time of his injuries, that insurer had a business plan of increasing insurance company profits as its top priority - which meant reducing wage loss claims payouts. A senior case manager used a battery operated "if pigs could fly" toy as an office joke each time a rejected claim brought the staff closer to its cost-cutting goals. Under his insurer's business plan, Dominic Peressini's brain injuries, mangled arm and post-accident memory and cognitive problems were too expensive - so they were rejected. After years of struggle through the courts, in November 2005 Mr. Peressini was awarded nearly $3 million for his unpaid lost wages, insurer bad faith, pain and suffering and other damages. The jury correctly determined that the insurer should have placed its obligations to its policyholders above its profit goals.