$10M awarded to family in wreck

Attorney for parents of two children killed in crash says question is whether defendant’s insurer will pay

THE PARENTS OF TWO children who were killed when an oncoming car crossed the median on Interstate 85 in Jackson County and hit the car they were riding in were awarded more than $10 million by a federal jury last month.

Now, says one of winning attorneys, the question is whether the defendant’s insurer, State Farm, will make good on the judgment, or face a “bad faith” action to force it to pay since it failed to respond to a policy-limit demand within the required time period.

“We’re in negotiations with State Farm right now,” said Michael L. Goldberg of Fried Rogers Goldberg, who tried the plaintiffs’ case with partner and lead counsel Joseph A. Fried on behalf of Joseph and Carolyn Gargiulo and another minor child injured in the crash.

Goldberg said he believes there is a “pretty high likelihood” the insurer will settle. An attorney who has followed the case for State Farm did not respond to requests for comment, but Goldberg said that in pre-trial discussions the insurer felt the case should have a $3 million to $4 million value.

The case was particularly tragic, said Goldberg, because two children in the car driven by the defendant, Connecticut resident Bellande Domercant, also were killed in the wreck, and Domercant remains devastated by its outcome.

Read the original full length article here.

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