Tractor-Trailer Wreck Results in $2.7 Million Settlement Despite Limited Liability Insurance
A rear-end tractor trailer wreck that resulted in the death of one man but in which the trucking company had only $1 million in insurance has resulted in a $2.7 million settlement, thanks in part to Florida under insured motorist law.
William P. Myles, 62, was traveling with his daughter Katie, 22, from Pennsylvania to his home in Florida when traffic slowed for work along the highway. A tractor-trailer driver failed to slow, and struck the Myles van at about 65 mph. The van caught on fire, and Katie Myles was trapped inside. Her father, despite severe injuries to his spinal cord, dragged his daughter from the vehicle and was heralded by N.C. Highway Patrol troopers as a hero for saving his daughter’s life.
The medical examiner found that his spinal cord had been severed in the crash. He died later that day.
His daughter suffered burns to her hands and nose and the psychological trauma of the crash.
The trucking company had only $1 million in insurance, and its insurance company filed an interpleader because of the number of claimants in the crash and the limited insurance. That claim was settled, with the Myles estate being paid $900,000.
Because the family had a $1 million UM/UIM policy that was written in Florida, and additional $1 million was available for each of the claimants. The same policy in North Carolina would have yielded only another $100,000 for the estate. As a result of the Florida policy, however, an additional $1 million was paid to the estate, and an additional $750,000 paid to the deceased’s daughter.
In all, $2,697,300 was paid to settle the two claims.
- Wrongful Death, Personal Injury
- Amount: $2.25 million
- Case name: Stonewood Insurance Company v. Hawkins, et. al,
- Court: U.S. District Court, Eastern District
- Date of Settlement: September 2019
- Attorneys for Plaintiffs: David F. Kirby, Winston Kirby and Bill Bystrynski of Edwards Kirby, LLP, in Raleigh