Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. O’Dell
Berger Montague, together with co-counsel, prosecuted this class action against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company in West Virginia Circuit Court, Roane County (Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. O’Dell, Case No. 00-C-37), on behalf of current and former West Virginia automobile insurance policyholders, which arose out of Nationwide’s failure, dating back to 1993, to offer policyholders the ability to purchase statutorily-required optional levels of underinsured (“UIM”) and uninsured (“UM”) motorist coverage in accordance with West Virginia Code 33-6-31. The court certified a trial class seeking monetary damages, alleging that the failure to offer these optional levels of coverage, and the failure to provide increased first party benefits to personal injury claimants, breached Nationwide’s insurance policies and its duty of good faith and fair dealing, and violated the West Virginia Unfair Trade Practices Act. On June 25, 2009, the court issued final approval of a settlement that provided a minimum estimated value of $75 million to Nationwide auto policyholders and their passengers who were injured in an accident or who suffered property damage.