A Lake County, Ind., jury awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and $18 million in punitive damages to a man who sued Allstate Insurance Co. The injured man proved to the jury that Allstate acted in bad faith in settling a 1995 car accident.
Unfortunately a similar result would be impossible in Washington. Washington–for a variety of reasons–prides itself on not allowing punitive damages. If there is not a mechanism to punish insurance companies like Allstate, what incentive does it have to correct its notoriously bad behavior?