Georgia’s High Court Says Geico Must Pay $2.7M for Failure to Settle


This is the case of Geico Indemnity Co. v. Whiteside, case number S21Q0227 in the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Enter Email to View Articles


In April 2021, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that Geico Indemnity Co. must pay $2.7 million dollars to the plaintiff after the court found that Geico failed to settle a claim arising from an accident involving a car and a bicycle, even though the insured driver failed to inform the insurer of a default judgment and claims that arose from the collision.

The high court said that Geico owed the driver, Bonnie Winslett, a duty to settle the lawsuit that was filed by the bicyclist, Terry Guthrie, even if her coverage was terminated for not notifying Geico about the claim, which ultimately resulted in a default judgment.

This court was answering questions that were certified to it by the Eleventh Circuit because Geico contested its liability after a jury found that it was 70% responsible for a $2.9 million dollar judgment that Guthrie won against Winslett, by default in the underlying case.