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Solicitors win battle with insurance giant in fight for justice after tragic death

WEBWIRE has secured a £100,000 out-of-court settlement from Legal & General on behalf of Letchworth widower David Webb, whose wife was killed when a suicidal driver deliberately crashed into their car.

They successfully challenged the insurance giant’s decision to refuse a full life insurance payment because of small print. Legal & General found an entry on Mrs Webb’s medical records which implied she was a smoker, and although this had no bearing on the cause of her death, refused to pay out, claiming it was important information.

Nigel Barrowcliff, Head of Personal Injury at Davies and Company, who run explained: “This sad case demonstrates just how vital it is to check the small print in any policy. My client wants to warn other people to check their insurance terms to avoid falling into the same trap, and to urge them to seek specialist legal advice if challenged by their insurer.”

Sarah Webb, age 29, from Letchworth died in horrific circumstances in December 2004, when the car she was travelling in with her two year old daughter and her husband, was hit by an oncoming car. The other driver, Charles Brown, aged 19, was purposely travelling at high speed the wrong way down the A1(M), after becoming suicidal following a relationship breakdown. Mr Webb swerved away, but Mr Brown steered towards them resulting in a devastating collision. He is serving a 10 year prison sentence for manslaughter.

David Webb commented: “I was absolutely distraught when my wife was killed, especially given the sudden and horrific circumstances in which she was taken from me, and the last thing I needed was to have to fight my insurance company. I never dreamed that Legal & General would search through Sarah’s medical records and seek to avoid payment in this way.”

After a long battle, specialist personal injury solicitor Nigel Barrowcliff, successfully achieved a settlement for Mr Webb. He commented: "Clearly in this case, whether Mrs Webb had been a smoker in the past or not was wholly irrelevant to the cause of her death, but insurance companies will challenge claims on the basis that they have been deprived of information that may have made a difference to the price of the policy.”


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