$52 million jury verdict in New Mexico insurance malpractice lawsuit – InsuranceNewsNet

We celebrate this victory with the Bonilla and Clark families. . . This verdict sends a loud and clear message that insurance companies . . . must keep their promises to their policyholders.”

In 2013, PULIC refused to defend and indemnify its insured physician after he was sued for the wrongful death of multiple patients who died as a result of his overprescribing of opiates. A decade of insurance malpractice litigation ended with a bold ruling by an Albuquerque jury of Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

The case dates from July 2012when PULIC received notice that its insured, Pawankumar Jain, MD of The crosseswas charged by New Mexico Medical Board of opioid overprescribing that has resulted in the deaths of at least 17 patients. Two of the 17 patients were Ruben Bonillajunior and serina clarke. Mr. Bonilla died from the unwise prescription of morphine by Dr. Jane prez August 2010. He is 43 years old and is survived by 11 children. Days later, Mrs. Clarke died from Dr. Jane’s unreasonable prescription of opioids and other drugs. She is 28 years old and is survived by three small children.

Upon learning of the 17 deaths, PULIC immediately canceled Dr. Jain’s insurance policy. However, PULIC chose not to record the 17 patient deaths in its claims system.

A year later, in August 2013the families of Ruben BonillaJr. (represented by McGraw Law) and serina clarke (presented by Davis Kellin) sued Dr. Jane for medical malpractice resulting in wrongful death. PULIC denied Dr. Jane defense against the lawsuits, alleging that its insured failed to file the claims in a timely manner despite being notified of 17 patient deaths before canceling its policy.

Dr. Jane then filed for bankruptcy protection. The Bonillas and Clarks were the only creditors with claims in the bankruptcy. In 2016, the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee filed suit against PULIC on behalf of Dr. Jain for PULIC’s failure to defend and indemnify its insured against Bonilla and Clark’s wrongful death lawsuits. In 2017, Dr. Jane’s bankruptcy estate paid both families approximately 680 thousand dollars and assigns the insurance malpractice case to them.

The case continued in 2020, when a District Court of New Mexico held that PULIC owes Dr. Jane defense and indemnification of 2013 Bonilla and Clark wrongful death lawsuits alleging PULIC breached its insurance contract Dr. Janeand it violated the New Mexico Unfair Insurance Practices Act.

in November 2022The district court also found that PULIC violated the Unfair Insurance Practices Act in three additional ways.

After less than two hours of deliberation, the January 17, 2023an Albuquerque the jury decided that PULIC also willfully violated the Unfair Practices Act and engaged in criminal conduct resulting in 52 million dollars punitive damages award, approximately half of PULIC’s net worth.

“We celebrate this victory together with the Bonilla and Clark families. These two families stayed the course for 10 years to get justice and accountability. This verdict sends a loud and clear message that insurance companies operating in New Mexico they must keep their promises to their policyholders,” they said Molly McGraw on McGraw Law, LLC.

“We are honored to secure this verdict for the families who lost loved ones too soon due to medical error,” they said Ben Davis, Davis Kellin Director. “To add insult to the pain and devastation these families face, they have been unable to get justice for over a decade due to unfair insurance practices. While nothing can replace the loved ones who have lost, we are working to demand more accountability from insurance companies and to deter other insurance companies from engaging in similar behavior.

Sofia Varela McGraw Law, LLC.
+1 575-523-4321
[email protected]

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