Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) December 10, 2007
Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, LLP, a prominent Georgia law firm specializing in civil litigation, announced today that it has successfully settled a complex insurance coverage suit against the Georgia Farm Bureau for $18 million. This class action suit was prosecuted by Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, LLP as local counsel on behalf of the Class, styled Bechtel v. Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and Georgia Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 03-CV-62596, Superior Court of Walker County, Georgia.
The suit stems from a case that arose in February 2002, when uncremated bodies were discovered on the property of Tommy Ray and Clara Marsh in Northwest Georgia, which was insured under a homeowner's policy issued by Georgia Farm Bureau. Tri-State Crematories operated on the property, but bodies being delivered to Tri-State were not being cremated. Instead, they were buried or hidden around the property. Lawsuits were filed by affected family members against Tri-State, the Marshes and the funeral homes that contracted with Tri-State to deliver bodies for cremation. A class action resulted (Tri-State Crematory Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Rome Division). The class settled with the funeral homes in February 2004 and proceeded to trial in August 2004 against the Marshes. By the trial date, Georgia Farm Bureau had entered into an agreement with the Marshes, that, for consideration, the Marshes agreed there was no coverage - and therefore Georgia Farm Bureau did not participate in the upcoming trial.
As the trial began in late August 2004, the class reached a settlement against the Marshes for $80 million and the Court approved the settlement, entered a Final Order and Judgment and so notified the class. This settlement contemplated an action against Georgia Farm Bureau to seek insurance proceeds to satisfy the judgment.
Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, LLP was brought in for the class action litigation as local counsel on behalf of the class. The case was vigorously prosecuted with appeals to both the Georgia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Multiple summary judgment motions were pending by both parties when the Court ordered mediation. The class received $18 million even though the homeowner's policy had a coverage limit of $100,000 per occurrence, and despite numerous and difficult coverage defenses, exclusions and other defenses. Qualified class members each received approximately $12,000.
About Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood
Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, LLP maintains offices in Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia. The firm specializes in complex, class action and commercial litigation. Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, LLP also represents individuals in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death litigation. For more information concerning this case, or for other information, please contact us at in Atlanta at 404-523-7706 or in Columbus at 706-324-0050 or visit us at http://www.pmkm.com .