Albuquerque Jurors Give $52 Million Verdict in Insured Bad Faith Trial

Albuquerque, NM, Jan. 25, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Davis Kelin Trial Lawyers, a trial office headquartered in Albuquerque, along with Las Cruces-based McGraw Law, LLC, received a $52 million settlement in an insurance malpractice case. against Professional Insurers Insurance Company (PULIC)—a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Physicians Company—in a ten-year-old insurance malpractice case. In 2013, the PULIC refused to defend and indemnify his insurance doctor after he was sued for the wrongful death of several patients who died because of his prescription of opiates. A decade of bad insurance ended with a bold decision by the Albuquerque jury on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

The issue dates back to July 2012, when the PULIC received information that its insured, Pawankumar Jain, MD of Las Cruces, was charged by the New Mexico Medical Board with overprescribing opioids causing the death of 17 patients. Two of the 17 patients are Ruben Bonilla, Jr. and Serena Clark. Mr. died. Bonilla due to the prescription of morphine by Dr. Jain in August 2010. He was 43 years old and had 11 children. A few days later, Ms. Clark because Dr. ordered control. Jain of opioids and other drugs. She is 28 years old and has three young children.

Upon learning of the 17 deaths, PULIC immediately canceled the insurance of Dr. Jain. The PULIC, however, chose not to record the 17 patients who died in its claims process.

A year later, in August 2013, the family of Ruben Bonilla, Jr. sued. (represented by McGraw Law) and Serina Clark (represented by Davis Kelin) to Dr. Jain for medical treatment that caused his wrongful death. The PULIC denied the response of Dr. Jain in the lawsuits, saying his insurer failed to file timely, even though it notified the 17 patients who died before canceling his policy. Then filed by Dr. Jain for bankruptcy protection. The Bonilla and Clark families were the only creditors with claims in the bankruptcy. In 2016, the US Bankruptcy Trustee filed a lawsuit against PULIC on behalf of Dr. Jain for the PULIC’s failure to protect and indemnify his insurer against Bonilla and Clark’s wrongful death. In 2017, the estate of Dr. Jain lost two families about $680 thousand and gave the insurance claim to them.

The case continued in 2020, when the New Mexico District Court held that PULIC owed Dr. Jain a defense and punishment for the crime of Bonilla and Clark in the death in 2013, PULIC violated its insurance contract with Dr. Jain, and it violated New Mexico law. Insurance Practice Rules. On Tuesday, an Albuquerque jury determined that PULIC also willfully violated the Antitrust Law and engaged in criminal conduct, resulting in a $52 million punitive damages award. .

“We are honored to secure this decision for the families whose loved ones have died prematurely, due to poor health,” said Ben Davis, Davis Kelin. Principal. “To add insult to the pain and abuse these families are facing, they have been unable to enforce justice for over a decade due to inadequate insurance policies. While nothing can replace the loved ones of those who have been lost, we are working to demand more accountability from insurance companies and prevent other insurance companies from engaging in similar behavior.

“We celebrate this victory with the Bonilla and Clark families. These two families stayed on the road for ten years to get justice and accountability. “This decision sends a strong and clear message that insurance companies operating in New Mexico must keep their promises to their policyholders.” added Mollie McGraw of McGraw Law.

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