A long and tedious court battle continues as an insurance company fires back at its law firm. The insurance company was recently forced to pay out $2.5 million in a wrongful death settlement, but now they are suing the law firm that represented them for malpractice.
The saga began in November 2015 when Robert Smith visited Castellano Auto in hopes of buying a new car. While test driving a Prius with employee Brad Cobb, Smith pulled out in front of a scooter, causing an accident. Virginia Tibbetts, who was riding the scooter died two days later from injuries sustained in the accident. Her mother sued Castellano Auto and Cobb, the employee who was in the car at the time of the accident.
Axis Surplus Insurance Company was Castellano’s insurer, who was forced to pay in the wrongful death settlement. Now Axis is suing Kadyk & Delesie, the law firm that represented them in court, claiming that the attorney failed to provide adequate legal services in a timely manner. Axis claims that they Kadyk was assigned to their case and given all related documents in mid-December, but it took more than 50 days before Axis heard any correspondence from the attorney. During that time, the insurer paid out the court-ordered $2.5 million settlement, but they believe they should have only had to pay $30,000 if they had been given adequate legal representation.
This string of lawsuit has done little to comfort the family of 22-year-old Virginia Tibbetts, who losther life in the accident. She was a student at the University of Central Florida with a bright future at the time of the crash. As for Smith, the driver of the Prius that caused the accident, he was only given a traffic citation. He was later charged with failure to yield at an intersection, but those charges were later dropped.
Now the insurance company is determined to seek justice in court after facing substantial losses as a result of the multi-million-dollar settlement. Tampa wrongful death attorney Christopher Ligori said Axis was well within their rights to take legal action. “Anytime a client faces such a major case, it is inexcusable for legal counsel to take weeks or months to respond. An attorney is tasked with representing the client through each step of the court process and there should never be this type of time lapse in attorney-client communications.”
Wrongful death lawsuits are just one of many types of cases that are frequent in Tampa courtrooms. Personal injury cases also bring a lot of people to court. Ligori said that many cases are actually settled outside of court in an effort to avoid expensive legal fees on behalf of both parties. “Anytime parties can work with a mediator to reach a settlement outside of a court room, it will be beneficial to everyone involved,” Ligori explained. “The process of walking out a personal injury or wrongful death case is time consuming and expensive for all parties involved.”
Source – http://saintpetersblog.com/insurance-company-sues-lawyer-malpractice-2-5m-wrongful-death-settlement/