The jury decided family deserved “37 cents a minute” for time lost with terminally ill son because of State Farm’s bad faith. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit because South Carolina is an at-fault state, meaning insurance companies cannot be sued in automobile crash cases.
The little boy was Lachlan Tannery. He was just 2 years old when he lost his battle to a rare childhood leukemia. The value of his limited time on earth with his parents was estimated for legal determination in a civil case decided by a jury in Charleston County last month. The jury awarded the Tannery family $141,000 in actual damages.
The family filed a lawsuit against Hugo Van Den Bergh who was the driver of a vehicle that wrecked with their car while they were on the coast for Lachlan’s medical treatments. The crash took time away from family bonding and forced undue stress on family members having to deal with State Farm insurance adjusters and paperwork related to the crash, according to the lawsuit.
“We were unable to tell the jury it was State Farm. Ultimately, the defendant is responsible for all foreseeable consequences of the defendant’s actions,” said attorney Kyle White, who represented the Tannery family.
“Loss of time is a compensatable item for damages. We showed that by this guy deciding to run a stop sign and plow into the side of the family’s Suburban, he caused the family to be jerked around for over a year.”