Wisconsin SC upholds $500k injury award

Chris Rizo Apr. 11, 2008, 5:00pm

Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson

MADISON--(Legal Newsline)-The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday upheld a judgment that an insurance company must pay $500,000 to a man injured in a bike crash.

The settlement is between Acuity and G. Vaughn Stone, who carried a policy through Acuity when he was hit by a van while riding his bike in 2003.

Stone suffered multiple bone fractures and a collapsed lung, which led to several surgeries. After being released from the hospital, Stone suffered a stroke as a result of complications from his injuries.

Stone received $510,000 from the van driver and her insurer, but Stone and his insurance company disagreed over how much coverage he was entitled to under his policy.

They agreed that Acuity would pay him $500,000 if the courts ruled that he had that much coverage.

In the majority opinion by Justice Bradley, with Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justices N. Patrick Crooks and David Prosser, the court ruled that Acuity failed to "provide the Stones with notice of the availability of UIM coverage as part of their umbrella insurance."

The ruling added: "We further determine that where an insurer fails to provide notice of the availability of UIM coverage as part of an insurance policy, the appropriate remedy is to read in the level of coverage necessary for the policy to conform to § 632.32(4m)(d)--$50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident."

Justices Patience Roggensack and Louis Butler concurred in part and dissented in part.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at csrizo@hotmail.com.

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