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PROVIDENCE – A Providence County Superior Court jury returned a verdict of more than $3.27 million against two of the nation’s largest automobile-insurance providers last month, ruling that they had acted with “malice” and “bad faith.”
The ruling against Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co. and Amica Mutual Insurance Co. was in favor of David F. Miller, a former auto body shop operator in Cumberland.
According to a statement, the jury found that the two insurance companies had instigated the filing of criminal charges brought against Miller by the Rhode Island State Police in 2002. At the time, Miller was charged with obtaining money under false pretenses and insurance fraud. However, all the charges against Miller were dismissed by the Office of Attorney General when it became clear that Amica and Met Life had helped instigate the charges, and had withheld documents that would have undermined the case against him.
The jury awarded all of the legal costs Miller incurred in defending against the prosecution after the criminal charges were filed. The jury also awarded $600,000 for emotional distress and another $1.25 million in punitive damages. •