Stutman Law recently recovered $750,000 in a subrogation action arising out of a condominium building fire in Washington State. The fire occurred during construction activities in a bathroom in one of the condominium units. The defendant initially denied liability for the claim, prompting Stutman Law to pursue 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.
Given the limited funds available, the defendant first made a settlement offer of 35% of Stutman Law’s client’s damages and wanted to retain a portion of the insurance funds for use in the event additional claims arose. However, Stutman Law’s attorneys analyzed the other claimants’ damages and found them to be artificially inflated. The defendant had overvalued the damages claimed by 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 our client’s pro rata share of the settlement proceeds. By investigating and assessing the other claimants’ damages, Stutman Law increased its client’s share of the settlement by an additional $200,000, leading to the $750,000 recovery.