A federal jury recently awarded an Iowa man $10 million for emotional distress and pain and suffering after ruling that his employer’s insurance carrier acted in bad faith in denying his claim for benefits from a back injury.
The plaintiff, Kris Zimmer, a computer technician for Norwest Financial, injured his back while bending over to pick up dropped papers. He was diagnosed with severe back pain, but his worker’s compensation claim was denied by Travelers Insurance Company. Travelers argued that that Mr. Zimmer had a history of back problems that included at least two prior surgeries and that the injury worsened his pre-existing psychological conditions. But the jury didn’t buy Travelers’ argument. A decision regarding punitive damages is still pending. Read about it here.