In April of 2013, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, heard a case involving a Kentucky minor personal injury settlement issue. (See Adkins v. Shelter Mutual Insurance Co., 2103 WL 1412331 (E.D. Ky. 2013)). At issue before the court was a motion to stay and a discovery order. For the following reasons, the objections were overruled and the motion denied.
The plaintiff in this Kentucky minor personal injury settlement case was involved in a Kentucky automobile accident on October 25, 2008. The minor was 17 years old at the time of the Kentucky automobile accident. But, the family did not hire a Kentucky minor personal injury settlement attorney. But, the defendant in the Kentucky automobile accident case did hire an attorney. The insurance adjuster knew this and spoke to the victim’s mother and offered to pay her $500 for her personal injury claim. The mother signed the settlement release. No court approval was sought or obtained for this settlement. Id.
After the victim turned 18 years old, she hired a Kentucky minor personal injury settlement attorney and filed a personal injury lawsuit and obtained a higher settlement for her injuries. Plaintiff brought this new lawsuit against the defendant in May of 2012 alleging violation of the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act and common-law bad faith for which she sought compensatory and punitive damages. Id.
The trial court’s order was sustained. The defendant’s objections were denied. It was shown that the defendant’s policy in 2008 was not to get court approval in all minor settlement cases. This was changed in 2012 so that all settlements with minors must now be court approved. Id. The plaintiff wanted to extend the discovery deadlines.
Plaintiff in this Kentucky minor personal injury settlement case also wanted records of minor cases for a period of ten years prior to this litigation. The defendant claims it would cost over $135,000 and that it was a a monumental waste of time and resources. The court agreed with the defendant that the plaintiff was entitled to a sample sufficient to define and test the policy. Id. It was limited to those claims for minors in the Lexington office and for only 3 years and which were encompassed only electronic files. Id. The defendant was required to report on its progress in 30 day intervals.
Defendant’s new estimate to get all this discovery was $84,000. Id. This court in reviewing the prior order looked to see if it was clearly erroneous or is contrary to law. This is pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 72(a). Thus, this court held that the magistrate judge’s ruling was reasonable. Also, the court noted that KRS 387.280 states in part that a person having custody of a minor “upon court order” and then state: “before entering the order, the court shall approve any settlement or compromise..” (cites omitted).
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky Minor Personal Injury Settlement case, please call and speak to a Kentucky Minor Personal Injury Settlement Lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!