“We were glad to be able to convince the insurance company that its coverage determination was wrong and to help make both our clients and the injured person whole.”

People and business buy liability insurance so they have protection in the event of a claim. But all too often, insurance companies put their own financial interests first and refuse to honor their policies, leaving unsuspecting insureds to fend for themselves.

As co-owners of a convenience store and paintball facility in southeast Missouri, Russell Baker and Shirley Heathman obtained $1,000,000 liability insurance coverage for their partnership activities.

In November 2010, a patron of Camo Valley Paintball injured his eye and filed a lawsuit against Baker and Heathman in their individual capacities.

Despite listing Baker and Heathman as the insureds under the policy, the insurer denied coverage, claiming the policy only covered the convenience store. With their insurer having abandoned them, a large judgment was entered against Baker and Heathman in favor of the injured person.

Following the judgment, Baker and Heathman retained Kip Robertson and Jim Frickleton to pursue claims against their insurer for acting in bad faith in refusing to defend them in the lawsuit. Robertson and Frickleton ultimately settled the case on Baker and Heathman’s behalf for $2,000,000, twice as much as the insurance company would have paid had it honored its insurance contract. As a result of this settlement, Baker and Heathman were able to satisfy their obligations to the injured party.