Stutman Law increases client’s pro rata settlement share

Stutman Law recently recovered $750,000 in a subrogation litigation arising out of a condominium building fire in Washington State. The fire occurred during construction in a bathroom in one of the condominium units. The defendant denied liability for the claim, and Stutman Law pursued the matter in litigation.

After serving requests for admissions early in the process, the defendant could no longer dispute liability. The focus then turned to damages, as several other entities also had pending claims and the defendant had limited amounts of insurance available to cover them.

Initially, because of the limited funds, the defendant made an settlement offer of 35% of Stutman Law’s client’s damages and wanted to retain a portion of the available insurance funds for use in the event additional claims arose. Stutman Law attorneys analyzed the other claimants’ damages and found them to be artificially inflated. It became apparent that the defendant overvalued the damages claimed by the other plaintiffs by simply accepting their claimed damages without any evidentiary support. In fact, the defendant was going to pay claims without obtaining any documentation. This would have effectively reduced Stutman Law’s clients’ pro rata share of the settlement proceeds. By critiquing the other claimants’ damages, Stutman Law increased its client’s share of the settlement by $200,000 leading to the $750,000 recovery.

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