Friday, April 3, 2009

More on Sterlin and 93A damages

This is my fourth and final post on Sterlin v. Commerce Ins. Co.

In my last post I discussed the 93A damages awarded by the judge, correctly based on the lost interest resulting from the delay in settlement.

Pierre took out a loan against the settlement. He sought 93A damages for the loss of the payment of $4,855 in loan origination fees and interest through the time the offer of settlement was made. The court denied this claim on the grounds that he had failed to prove his damages--Pierre testified about the loan, but did not support his testimony with documentary evidence.

By leaving open the possibility of paying such damages if proven, the judge has widened the scope of 93A/176D damages beyond lost interest on a settlement, to all damages resulting from the inconvenience of not having funds available. Should Pierre receive 93A damages for extra medical costs he personally incurred as a result of not being able to pay for health insurance? What if the bank had foreclosed on his house because he couldn't pay his mortgage?

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