Jury Awards Iowa Man $10 Million for Back Injury
March 9, 2007
A federal jury has awarded a man $10 million after ruling that his
employer's insurance carrier acted in bad faith in denying his claim
for benefits from a 1999 back injury.
The jury is still deliberating whether to award the man additional
compensation for punitive damages.
Court records show that Kris Zimmer, 47, worked as a computer
technician for Norwest Financial when he injured his back when he bent
over to pick up papers that had been dropped and were blowing around.
Doctors diagnosed him in severe pain, but a lawsuit claimed that
Travelers Insurance Co. denied his worker compensation claim.
The insurance adjusters argued that Zimmer had a history of back
problems that included at least two surgeries before the latest
incident. They said the injury worsened Zimmer's already existing
The $10 million judgment was aimed at compensating Zimmer for his
emotional distress, and for pain and suffering for what the jury found
was bad faith denial of his claim for medical assistance.
Lawyers declined to comment on the decision because the jury was still
considering whether to award punitive damages. No timeframe was
announced for that decision.