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Adult Family Home overdose/death case settled after insurance companies claimed no insurance

James Gooding and Scott Lundberg recently forced two insurance companies to admit that they had $1M and $500,000 worth of insurance that was applicable to the death of their resident, Ms. Ho Bae. After four years of litigation, both insurance companies finally paid the combined $1.5M to settle the case.

In 2009, Ms. Bae was admitted to Lakeside Adult Family Home in Lynnwood, WA. Later that year, a nurse working in the home began giving Ms. Bae morphine, which was not one of Ms. Bae’s prescribed medications. After a number of doses, the morphine caused Ms. Bae’s death. The family was not notified of the death until Ms. Bae’s granddaughter arrived for a visit, and saw what had happened.

GLP brought a lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Bae’s family. Both insurance companies effectively “hid”, while the owner and operator of the home hired a private attorney. The private attorney claimed that there was no insurance and did not turn over any documents to show that there was. GLP was able, however, to subpoena documents from the home’s insurance agent, and eventually identified both insurance policies.

Once identified, both carriers then claimed that their policies did not cover the death as it happened outside of the claims-made period, as well as for other reasons. GLP attorneys, through depositions of the home’s owner and the nurses, was able to prove that the policies did apply, and then forced them to pay both policies’ insurance limits to settle the case.

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