Start Date: 6/27/2023 12:00 PM PDT
End Date: 6/27/2023 1:00 PM PDT
Washington Defense Trial Lawyers
1 WSBA CLE credit pending
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Tips for Handling UIM Cases in Light of Olympic Steamship Fees Being Awarded in Recent decision Ratty v. Progressive Direct Ins Co.
Most practitioners understand the Olympic Steamship decision to allow for an award of attorney's fees when coverage is denied and then a court subsequently determines coverage does exist after an insured files suit. A recent unpublished opinion of Division One of the Court of Appeals arguably broadens the scope and awarded Olympic Steamship fees in a UIM case where coverage was not denied, but plaintiff’s attorneys argued they were "forced" to sue. The opinion quickly circulated among plaintiff attorneys with reports some intend to immediately attempt broad application, such that a discussion of this opinion and refresher regarding best practices for handling UIM claims is warranted.
Presented by Levi Bendele, Lee Smart, P.S., Inc.
Levi Bendele is a graduate of the University of Colorado and the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. However, the best claim-handling education he received was when he moved to Washington and worked as a State Farm claim representative in the late 90s. Since that time he has defended a variety of cases, including automobile liability and UM/UIM, premise liability, construction injury and defect, premises liability, HOA litigation, professional liability, and insurance matters involving EUOs, PIP, coverage, bad faith and IFCA claims. Secondarily, he has worked on a handful of appeals before Division One of the Washington Court of Appeals and two matters before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Bendele is a former board member of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association (WDTL) and currently chairs the Automobile and Trucking Claims Defense Section.