The Daily

Owens v. Nationwide

The Charles decision from the Supreme Court is not our only important victory in appellate court for consumers. We have successfully pursued appeals in many and varied matters. You can find many of them on our website. In 2004, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal ruled in our client’s favor in Owens v. Nationwide. You can click onto our website and find the decision here.

Owens v. Nationwide Insurance Company

Glenda Owens had been effectively cheated by her own insurance company when she was presented with a check she thought was for lost wages only. She was unable to find the tortfeasor driver on her own and was not aware that the at-fault driver had plenty of coverage to pay for her other injuries. Her carrier, Nationwide, knew about the at-fault driver’s insurance and used the release they obtained from her to sue that party for reimbursement of the nominal settlement they had made with her. This is known in the business as a subrogation claim. They pursued the subrogation claim in Georgia in her name without ever telling her about the suit or the at-fault driver’s insurance.

When Mrs. Owens hired us, we discovered what had happened and sued Nationwide and the at-fault party – who immediately raised her settlement with Nationwide as a bar to any additional recovery. Though the trial court accepted these arguments, the Second District Court of Appeal reversed that result and found that Nationwide had not treated Ms. Owens fairly by using their nominal settlement to secretly get subrogation in her name without ever notifying her.

We successfully sued both Nationwide and the at-fault party on her behalf, creating appellate law that is cited more often today than it was in the immediate years after her case was decided. Though I cannot prove why, I believe that the reason Owens is cited more often now  than when it was decided ten years ago is that insurance companies are even more aggressive in cheating their insureds than they ever have been. The Owens decision, therefore, made law that is more relevant to consumers now than ever.

Be aware of your rights as a consumer of insurance and other services. If wronged, make sure you retain the services of experienced and aggressive counsel with a proven track record of holding even the largest companies accountable for your full compensation. No matter how long the fight needs to last.