Congratulations to Travis Eiva for his recent trial victory. Earlier this month, Travis and his co-counsel obtained a record $17.8 million jury verdict against GEICO for “bad faith” insurance practices in the case of Cornel Tuter v. GEICO in Portland. This is the largest jury verdict against an insurance company in Oregon in the last decade. GEICO unreasonably refused to settle an insurance claim and as a result needlessly caused its policyholder to suffer hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic and other losses. After a two week trial, a jury found that GEICO should compensate Mr. Tuter for all of those losses and also found that GEICO should be subject to $17.5 million in exemplary damages. After that verdict, GEICO and all other Oregon insurers should think twice before acting in bad faith and causing harm to their policyholders when settling insurance claims.
Of particular note, under Oregon law 70 percent of the exemplary damages reflected in the final judgment will go to the State of Oregon Judicial Department and Oregon Crime Victims Compensation Fund. In other words, this verdict may result in upwards of $12 million of money to help Oregon crime victims.