A couple will receive almost $8 million from a Menlo Park Insurance Company they sued, after the company had refused to cover the damages to their home caused by a landslide.
Pacific Specialty Insurance was found guilty of insurance bad faith and breach of contract. The four week trial was regarding a landslide from five years ago that caused an estimated $500,000 in damages to their home. The accident occurred when a construction crew dug a hole for a swimming pool. The slide broke their septic system, cracked the walls of the home and destroyed areas of their backyard.
The couple was awarded $670,000 in compensatory damages and approximately $7.3 million in punitive damages.
Defense attorney Raymond Coates said the award was lopsided and that his clients plan to file new motions to reduce the award. If that review process fails, the company could appeal, Coates said. Judge Quentin Kopp is handling the case.
“We don’t think it reflects a just result,” Coates said. “In a case like this, when there is any economic loss, we think (damages) should be one-to-one (in dollars).”
If the company decides to appeal, it will have to post a bond for the judgment and pay interest during the course of the appeal.