In Rhodes v.AIG Domestic Claims, Inc., (February 10, 2012), the SJC reaffirmed that damages for knowing or willful violation of Mass. General Laws c. 93A/176D will be calculated based on the underlying judgment amount where the underlying tort action proceeds to a judgment. In this case, the underlying judgment was $11 million dollars, thereby bringing the Plaintiff a total of $22 million dollars for their automobile crash.
The SJC did not distinguish between pre-judgment and post-judgment violations of c. 93A/17D and held that findings of willful or knowing violations either before or after entry of the tort judgment were sufficient to warrant the imposition of double damage. The trial court found that the insurer committed a willful and knowing post-judgment violation of c. 93A/176D by making an offer of settlement substantially less than the judgment amount.
M.G.L. Chapter 93A is a great tool for Massachusetts accident victims who are mistreated by insurance companies trying to save money. Filing claims under M.G.L. Chapter 93A can get complicated, so hiring an attorney before filing suit will ensure that all procedural rules are followed.
Contact our office today to speak to an experienced attorney about your claim.