Will Ferguson Firm Case Leads to Affirmation of New Mexico Auto Insurance Protections
Pushes Back Against Insurance Company
(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) – The Will Ferguson & Associates Law Firm’s persistence in pursuing a motorist’s claim against her auto insurance company has led to a federal court decision affirming court-ordered consumer protections in New Mexico.
The U.S. District Court decision upheld a New Mexico Supreme Court decision that had reopened the claims of thousands drivers shortchanged by their carriers’ handling of their Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist claims over the previous six years. The state court order also provided UI/UM coverage to many other drivers.
The case was taken on by Will Ferguson & Associates lawyer Albert N. Thiel Jr., who represented Philelicia Encee, a driver insured by Nevada General. “Basically it was a small accident case I took where there was a dispute about liability, but I believed our client, who lost her paid-for car and was injured,” Thiel said.
Thiel sued the other driver, who turned out to be uninsured. Thiel also filed a claim against Nevada General, seeking $25,000 in UI/UM coverage to Encee. “Rather than arbitrate it, they literally made a federal case out of it,” Thiel said.
Nevada General’s lawyers sought a declaratory judgment against Encee in U.S. District Court seeking to overturn the New Mexico Supreme Court decision expanding UI/UM coverage and reopening settled or denied cases. “It was David vs. Goliath,” Thiel said.
What had started a small case had grown complex, but Managing Partner Will Ferguson decided to fight Nevada General’s federal action. He retained prominent Albuquerque attorney Maureen Sanders, a former law professor, to write the federal court brief.
The brief helped persuade a federal judge that the state court’s order wasn’t an unconstitutional “taking” by the government. The Ferguson team representing Encee won the case and was awarded attorney’s fees.
“These are the kinds of cases we take, which affect people who have been taken advantage of by large corporations, and we do our best to make things right,” Thiel said.
The New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association noted the importance of the case in the January-February issue of its bimonthly newsletter of noteworthy cases, “The New Mexico Trial Lawyer.”
The Will Ferguson & Associates Law Firm represents people seriously injured by the negligence of others and the families of persons who die because of the negligence of others. For more information, contact Will Ferguson & Associates at (505) 243-5566 or 1 (800) 251-5566. In Amarillo, call (806) 374-4024.