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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Lack of coverage for injured worker leads to settlement with agent

Lack of coverage for injured worker leads to settlement with agent

A claim by an injured worker that resulted in a $4.78 million arbitration award against a roofing company resulted in a $1 million settlement with an insurance agent alleged to have failed to procure the proper insurance. 

Gustavo Hernandez was injured during his employment with Distinction Roofing LLC. According to court records, he fell to the ground in 2015 while working on a roofing project at an apartment complex in the Platte County portion of Kansas City, Missouri.

Hernandez made a workers’ compensation claim for his injuries. However, Travelers Insurance, the carrier for Distinction Roofing, denied the claim, as its policy covered only injuries occurring in Kansas. As a result, Hernandez and the defendants entered into arbitration in 2020, with the arbitrator issuing an award of $4.78 million against Distinction Roofing. The Platte County Circuit Court confirmed the award in early 2021.

Distinction Roofing then made an errors and omissions claim in Jackson County Circuit Court against its insurance agent, Smart Insurance Solutions and its broker, Sergio Salas, alleging that they’d failed to procure appropriate insurance for the company. 

Ben Schmitt of the Schmitt Law Firm in Kansas City, an attorney for the roofing company, said Lloyd’s of London, the liability carrier for the defendants, paid its $1 million policy limits to resolve all claims by any party. In addition, he said, Smart Insurance Solutions paid $2,500 directly to the plaintiff.  

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$1 million settlement


Venue: Jackson County Circuit Court

Case Number/Date: 2116-CV01193/Feb. 28, 2022

Judge: James Kanatzar

Insurer: Lloyd’s of London

Special Damages: $4,700,000.00 arbitration award in favor of defendant

Caption: Distinction Roofing LLC v. Smart Insurance Solutions LLC, Sergio Salas and Gustavo Hernandez

Plaintiff’s Attorneys: Ben Schmitt and Melody Roberts, Schmitt Law Firm, Kansas City

Defendants’ Attorneys: Jeff Zimmerman, Zimmerman & Doering, Shawnee, Kansas (for Smart Solutions); David Shaver, Law Offices of David Shaver, Kansas City (for Hernandez)