Consumer rights attorneys across California were disappointed by today's
California Supreme Court decision in Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions
Inc. The Court's decision dramatically changed the rules for lawsuits
by injured persons. The new rules favor insurance companies over the injured
person and slashes the amount of compensation that will be paid to injury
victims who have health insurance.
The San Diego case involved Rebecca Howell, a former school teacher and
professional surfer, who was severely injured by a Hamilton Meats'
truck after its driver made an illegal U-turn. The accident caused a severe
back injury that left Howell unable to work. Howell's medical bills
were nearly $190,000 including 2 back surgeries.
Hamilton Meats' insurance company argued that it's client should
not have to pay the full amount of Howell's medical expenses. Instead,
it wanted to pay only the discounted rate paid by Howell's health
insurance. If Howell had not purchased health insurance, she would have
been awarded the full $190,000. By doing the right thing -- in this case,
carrying health insurance at her cost -- Rebecca Howell was forced to
give Hamilton Meats a $130,000 discount it didn't deserve.
This decision is a setback to consumer rights in California but it only
strengthens the resolve of consumer rights attorneys like myself to ensure
that my clients receive all of the compensation they are entitled to under the law.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a motor vehicle or other
accident, I urge you to
call today to
discuss your case with me. Know your rights!