Hamilton County: Suzanne West (Plaintiff) was at a Chattanooga spa getting a facial treatment and sustained permanent injuries to her face. The spa, through their insurance company and their lawyers admitted fault, but the case went to a jury trial on damages only. Plaintiff had approximately $8,000 in economic damages (e.g. medical bills, treatment costs, etc.). The case focused on Plaintiff’s non-economic damages (e.g. past pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life). After all the proof was presented, the jury awarded Plaintiff $125,000.00. The insurance company lawyers filed a motion for remittitur (a request to decrease the jury award). The trial court judge agreed with the insurance company’s lawyers and reduced the jury award to $47,800.00. The case was appealed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals at Knoxville. On appeal, the trial court judge’s remittitur decision was upheld.
It’s always difficult to see an injury victim have her day in court and the jury awards her appropriately, only to see the insurance company file for remittitur. Insurance companies are always trying to deny or limit compensation to accident victims, even if that means using a procedural tool like remittitur after a jury award. Interestingly, the Court of Appeals decision indicates the Plaintiff may have had an opportunity for success using a different approach on appeal, but unfortunately the facts did not play out that way.
Don’t go it alone against the insurance company. They have lawyers on their side, and so should you. Contact the law offices of Weir and Kestner today. We have experience with insurance companies and understand how to fight them.
For the full court decision visit: http://www2.tncourts.gov/PublicCaseHistory/
SUZANNE BISHOP WEST v. EPIPHANY SALON & DAY SPA, LLC
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