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Defense Lawyers Prevail Over Claims of Malpractice Arising from Competing Policy Limit Demands

May 9, 2017

Joe Kingma, Shannon Sprinkle, and Megan McCue won summary judgment in DeKalb County for their clients, a local defense law firm and its former partner.  The Plaintiff, the law firm’s former client, sued the lawyer and firm for malpractice and breach of fiduciary seeking to recover for a $3.2 million dollar excess judgment awarded against the Plaintiff in an underlying personal injury trial.  The defendant lawyers did not try the case and had been substituted out months before trial.

The Plaintiff contended that the defendant lawyers failed to proactively settle four competing claims, which had been asserted against the Plaintiff arising out of a multi-vehicle truck accident.  The Plaintiff had a single $1,000,000 insurance policy and faced two competing demands for the full policy limits.  The DeKalb Judge correctly found that the Plaintiff’s case failed as a matter of law, because the acts of the competing litigants and subsequent counsel constituted intervening acts that broke the chain of proximate causation.

While this win was a sigh of a relief for many lawyers that may find themselves in similar situations, the case is being appealed, so stay tuned for further updates.

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For informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in future cases.