Destiny Bounds, Isaac Straub Win Unanimous Jury Verdict in $5.6 Million Professional Liability CaseNews | August 17, 2022
Kutak Rock attorneys Destiny Bounds and Isaac Straub from the firm’s Kansas City office successfully represented a former insurance agent, Rebecca Livengood, in a negligent failure to procure insurance coverage lawsuit wherein Ms. Livengood was being sued personally for allegedly failing to obtain health insurance coverage for the plaintiff, who sought $5.6 million in damages.
The case relates to events beginning in November 2013 when the plaintiff approached Ms. Livengood regarding procuring a health insurance policy and Ms. Livengood submitted the plaintiff’s application to the insurance carrier. In January 2014 the plaintiff contracted H1N1 flu (“swine flu”), was hospitalized with serious medical complications and incurred nearly $500,000 in medical bills. The plaintiff did not have the medical coverage he requested because he failed to make his first premium payment directly to the insurance carrier as instructed by Ms. Livengood. In 2018 the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Ms. Livengood alleging negligent failure to procure the requested coverage.
The plaintiff’s main contention was that Ms. Livengood failed to inform him that a first direct payment to the carrier was required to complete the policy. He purportedly believed an automatic payment program would take his first payment. The plaintiff claimed compensatory damages for the unpaid medical bills and $5 million in emotional distress damages.
A jury trial to determine liability for the alleged failure to procure the requested insurance in 2013 was held beginning on August 2, 2022. The evidence presented to the jury demonstrated that Ms. Livengood’s practice was to tell every customer that a first direct payment was required. Eight letters from the health insurance carrier addressed to the plaintiff came into evidence, each of which asked him to make his first payment directly. The plaintiff denied receiving these letters, despite receiving his health insurance cards at the same address. The defense team demonstrated that Ms. Livengood followed the procedures and training from her employer and the insurance carrier regarding enrollment.
On August 9, 2022 the jury returned a unanimous 12-0 verdict in favor of Ms. Livengood.
Kutak Rock attorney Destiny Bounds led the trial team and was assisted by attorney Isaac Straub. Additionally, support from numerous attorneys and staff members was instrumental in achieving the successful trial outcome.
Destiny Bounds is an experienced trial lawyer who counsels clients on all aspects of the litigation process, including individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. She litigates an array of claims from breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, medical negligence, tort, professional liability, construction defect, and employment related claims.
Isaac Straub is an experienced litigation attorney who represents clients in a wide variety of cases including contract disputes, commercial and consumer auto finance, intellectual property disputes, personal injury matters, creditor’s rights issues, and coverage and bad faith disputes involving insurance carriers. He has successfully represented businesses and individuals in both state and federal court.