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Insurance Giant AIG Settles $18 million Injury Case With Raleigh Man


Posted on Nov 02, 2008

The Insurance Journal has reported that major insurance company American International Group (AIG) has reached an $18 million settlement with the father of a Raleigh, North Carolina disabled man.

Lawyers from the insurance company were moving to settle quickly because of AIG's financial troubles - AIG recently received an $85 billion bailout from the government for its risky financial practices. In the bailout, the Federal Reserve gave the company the two-year credit line in return for an almost 80 percent stake in the giant insurance company.

The man, Mark Pellegrin, 29, of North Raleigh, became disabled when a pickup truck hit him in the parking lot of his apartment building. On New Years Eve in 2005, Kelly Jo McKiernan drank beer and hard alcohol before jumping into a KCI Technologies company-issued truck and leaving Sommerset Place Apartments. Pellegrin ran in front of the truck to attempt to get his friend to stop driving drunk. Pellegrin's head struck the truck and the pavement, resulting in a severe brain injury.

"I'm sure he was just coming down to tell me, 'You know, man, what are you doing, Kelly? You're drunk, dude. You know better than this,' " McKiernan said in the deposition.

Pellegrin now requires around-the-clock care and has limited mobility and speech. Pellegrin and his father recently moved to Houma, LA, where Pellegrin is cared for by his father.

Tradingmarkets.com adds that the settlement is one of the largest in North Carolina history for a personal injury case. AIG decided to pay the settlement after a judge from the Wake Superior Court ordered AIG to pay $75 million along with subsidiary National Union Fire Company.

"That's huge,' said a Raleigh, NC, attorney who specializes in civil cases but was not involved in the case. "It would be a big jury verdict, but it's a really big settlement.'

Pellegrin's father, Jerry, Pellegrin, was satisfied with the settlement.

"I'd like to say that I'm not a big fan of lawyers myself," Jerry Pellegrin said. "However, these three people have shown me and my son more compassion than I ever thought."

The settlement gives Jerry $6 million immediately, invests $6 million for future medical costs, and gives $6 million for lawyers' fees.

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