In Primo v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., a man was allegedly injured when his car was struck from behind by an underinsured motorist. As a result of the collision, the man received a $10,000 settlement from the negligent driver. After that, the injured man filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida seeking underinsured motorist benefits from his automobile insurer. In Florida, underinsured motorist coverage is a supplemental automobile insurance policy option that provides a driver with bodily injury and property damage coverage in the event that he or she is involved in a collision with a motorist who lacks sufficient liability insurance coverage.
Prior to trial, the man and his insurer agreed that the underinsured driver acted negligently. Because of this, the only issue for the jury was whether and to what degree the negligent motorist caused the man’s harm. Following trial, the jurors returned a verdict stating the negligent driver caused the man more than $57,000 in past damages. In addition, the jury found that the injured man did not sustain any permanent injuries and declined to award damages based on his future impairment or medical expenses. Ultimately, the jurors failed to award the man any non-economic damages. In general, non-economic damages include pain, suffering, loss of consortium, and other subjective types of harm.
After the jury returned its verdict, the injured man’s automobile insurer asked the Jacksonville court to reduce the award based on compensation the man already received from other sources. The man countered that he was entitled to receive the entire jury award minus any duplicative funds he recovered as a result of his previous settlement with