The Georgia Supreme Court recently reemphasized the importance in the disclosure of insurance information in litigation in Ford Motor Company v. Conley (No.S13A1601, February 20, 2014). The Court reversed a defense verdict for Ford Motor Company because it failed to disclose insurance coverage. The Court held that "to insure the right of trial by an impartial jury, a party to a civil case is entitled to have the jury qualified by the Court as to any insurance carrier with a financial interest in the case." It further held that where a jury is not properly qualified concerning an insurance company "prejudice to that party will be presumed and in the absence of a proper rebuttal, a new trial must be ordered." Thus, the defendant must always disclose any available insurance coverage and make sure that the jury is qualified as to those insurance providers.
Richard G. Tisinger, Jr.