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Jury returns $42 million dollars for Rapid City woman injured while working for UPS

stock footage of judge's gavel
stock footage of judge's gavel(wwbt/nbc12)
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 3:35 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -On Nov 5, a Pennington County Jury returned the largest bad faith verdict in South Dakota history.

The court awarded $42 million dollars to Fern Johnson a former UPS employee who was injured working on the job and says her employer-provided insurance company Liberty Mutual refused to pay for her medical care.

We spoke with a pair of attorneys who worked the case and they say the jury’s finding shows that if corporations don’t follow through on their legal obligations, they will be held accountable by South Dakotans.

“That’s really the crux of the bad conduct or reprehensible conduct that Liberty Mutual and UPS engaged in. The jury said you can’t do this to South Dakota citizens and injured workers,” Verne Coodsell

“When the case is right and when justice calls for it, they still stand up for those in the community,” Nate Oviatt

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