Sparks v. Republic National Life Insurance Co.
Landmark aviation and insurance bad faith case. At the time, this $4.5 million verdict was the largest in the State of Arizona. Ted Schmidt's clients were seriously injured in an airplane crash. The father suffered a severe brain injury and could not work. Consequently, the family fell behind in their health insurance premiums and the insurance carrier stopped paying for health care related to the crash. Following a three week trial, the jury found that the insurance company was in bad faith for refusing to make these payments. The result was upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court and still stands as one of the most frequently cited cases for insurance bad faith law.
Insurance company forced to pay for lifesaving cancer treatment.
We successfully negotiated a $300,000 settlement for our client as a result of her health insurer's refusal to pay for bone marrow transplant treatment of her breast cancer. She underwent the treatment anyway, paying for it with life savings and donations from family and friends. The treatment was labeled experimental by the health insurer, and for that reason they refused to pay. Ultimately they did pay, and the treatment has rendered our client cancer free for nearly 20 years now.
Life insurance company forced to treat widow fairly.
Our client's husband of over 50 years died from complications while recovering from a broken hip he sustained in an accidental fall. After his death, our client made a claim on her husband's life insurance policy, which provided accidental death benefits. The insurance company unreasonably denied the claim saying that his death was not the result of an accident, but rather was the result of medical complications. We argued that the policy clearly bound the insurance company to provide her with the benefits that her late husband had paid for. The insurance company paid the full policy benefits.