A Marine, who is on his third tour in Iraq, was awarded $3.5 million in punitive damages last month in his lawsuit against USAA, a servicemembers’ insurance company. The claim had been for water damage to his house. Capt. John Colombero already had won $50,000 in damages for emotional distress in the first phase of the trial. His lawyers contended that he spent time between deployments arguing with his insurance company. USAA had denied a 2004 claim for $84,744 in damage to the Marine’s house. Jurors indicated on the verdict form that the punitive award was intended to punish USAA for malice, oppression and fraudulent conduct.
USAA, a private company based in San Antonio, Texas, provides insurance and financial services to 5.6 million servicemembers and their families. Capt. Colombero bought his three-bedroom house for $352,000 in 2002 and rented out the spare bedrooms to make his payments. In 2004, after he returned from a tour in Baghdad, he decided to build an addition. A pipe burst during construction, damaging the foundation. Since he had been deployed to Iraq on March 20th, Capt. Colombero wasn’t around to hear the jury’s verdict.
Source: Associated Press
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.