Richard W. Fogarty successfully defended Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company in an unusual demand for PIP arbitration, which sought funeral expenses, income continuation benefits, and essential service benefits. The demand was brought by the estate of a decedent whose significant other is currently in jail awaiting trial on murder charges. The accused gave two interviews from jail alleging that he accidentally backed over the decedent with his Hummer. Claimant used this version of the incident to argue that because the automobile was involved in the decedent’s death, her estate was entitled to PIP benefits.
Richard argued that the self-serving statements by the accused killer were insufficient to establish that the death was caused by an automobile accident. The arbitrator agreed, noting several inconsistencies in the accused’s story brought to light by Richard. As a result, the arbitrator held that Allstate was not liable to the estate for the benefits claimed and the demand was denied in its entirety.