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$12M Verdict in Fatal Florida Keys Crash Upheld by Appeals Court

A federal appeals court this week upheld a $12 million jury award against a gravel and waste-hauling company in a horrific highway accident that killed four Spanish women who were on vacation in the Florida Keys in 2018.

But it’s far from certain how much of the judgment the women’s families will see. The plaintiffs’ attorneys in the case now find themselves on the side of the trucking firm that they had sued, arguing that the firm’s liability insurance company, National Indemnity Co. of the South (NICO), acted in bad faith, failed to defend the hauling company and inappropriately attempted to minimize a payout early on.

“Improper claims handling – that’s the message here,” said Paul Layne, with the Silva & Silva law firm in Coral Gables, which represents the estates of the young women killed in the crash. “It’s a real screw-up that put the carrier in this position.”


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