POMPANO BEACH, FL - Custom Wood Creations, a Pompano Beach, FL woodworking shop seriously damaged by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, won a $6 million verdict against FCCI Commercial Insurance for refusing to pay a claim after the hurricane.
The judgment following a jury trial for the case, originally filed by Custom Wood Creations, and owners Debra and Ronald Peters, in Broward County, FL Circuit Court in 2008. It provides for $1.2 million in punitive damages and $2.4 million in pain and suffering.
The jury said FCCI instituted a criminal proceeding against Debra Peters, later ended in her favor; and that FCCI submitted information to the Florida Department of Insurance in bad faith, according to a press release from the Peters' law firms reported in the South Florida Business Journal.
Custom Wood Creations' lawyer Stephen Hammer said the Peters' high-end furniture and cabinetry manufacturing plant took a direct hit from Hurricane Wilma in October 2005, losing its roof and damaging woodworking production equipment and expensive work-in-progress in its warehouse area.
“FCCI was relentless and they fabricated these charges. They were using the Department of Insurance as a collection agency to strong-arm Debra Peters, who was facing 30 years behind bars,” said attorney Steven J. Hammer. The Peters plan to reopen their business.
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