May 12, 2010 Leave a comment
It’s not everyday that an insurance case is interesting, but today, I was able to cover one that was: Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against his insurer Wells Fargo Insurance Services Southeast, which the wrestler says should have told him to get better insurance, considering his kids had recently become of driving age.
Unfortunately, Hogan’s son Nick Bollea got into a disastrous car accident in 2007 that left his friend in the passenger seat, John Graziano, in a severe coma. Hogan recently paid a settlement toward Graziano’s medical expenses, which are expected to include 24-hour a day medical care for the rest of his life. (Graziano is currently in his early 20s). The wrestler said he would have owed a lot less if he had an insurance package that covered such incidents. (I assure you, Hulk, your insurer would have fought your claim first).
In my research for the story, I was struck by the recriminations coming from all sides. Hogan’s toward his insurance company, which he said breached its fiduciary duty by not recommending more insurance to cover the wrestler’s $30 million net worth; Graziano’s family toward Hogan and their absolute defense of their son (who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt). They also tried to say he wasn’t good friends with Nick Bollea.
(Added: In fairness to Hulk Hogan, one insurance lawyer says it is Florida law to advise someone to get an umbrella policy. What I wonder is whether Wells Fargo did this and Hulk turned them down. Gotta find that sort of thing out in discovery…)
I don’t claim to know who is right in this particular case, but it just struck me how much blame-seeking goes on in our society. Some of it is deserved and necessary, especially when a lot of money is on the line, as with issues surrounding the 2008 bailouts. But some of it seems like futile efforts to divine a villain when an event is simply tragic.