Spooner Staggs Law Firm Switches Sides to Now Represent Injured Plaintiffs

Portland/Salem, OR – In a groundbreaking decision, the Oregon Supreme Court has expanded insurance coverage bad faith law in the state, allowing for the pursuit of bad faith insurance claims against insurers. This development marks a significant shift in Oregon’s legal landscape.

The landmark case, Moody v. Oregon Community Credit Union and Federal Insurance Company, has set the stage for first-party bad faith insurance claims, enabling policyholders and additional insureds to seek damages for emotional distress, in addition to insurance benefits and potential attorney’s fees.

Tyler Staggs, senior partner at the Spooner Staggs law firm, commented on the shift: “We were intimately involved in bad faith insurance litigation in Oregon, so we are experts in this area. The challenge is that the industry has been shifting from hard-working human adjustors trying to do the right thing. Now payment decisions are being made by artificial intelligence [AI] and algorithms. Humanity has been removed from the process. Spooner Staggs, once known for championing defense arguments for the insurance industry (they filed the amicus brief in Moody for the insurance industry!), has changed to now represent injured plaintiffs seeking justice under this powerful new precedent.

“This new Oregon Supreme Court decision acknowledges the need for more accountability in the insurance industry. Our firm is now fully committed to representing the rights of injured plaintiffs, bringing our expertise to ensure insurance companies act in good faith and fulfill their obligations to policyholders. This is a powerful new tool injury firms can use to accomplish this.”

The Moody case (full opinion: https://bit.ly/48QvRtI) originated from a small dispute over an accidental death claim and a $3,000 life insurance policy. The insurer initially denied coverage, leading to a legal battle where the plaintiff alleged breach of contract and “negligence per se.” The Oregon Court of Appeals, in a departure from longstanding precedent, ruled in favor of the policyholder, allowing for the pursuit of negligence per se claims based on violations of Oregon claim-handling regulations.

Staggs continued, “This decision is a game-changer for Oregonians. It provides a crucial enforcement tool personal injury firms can use to hold insurance companies accountable for their actions during the claims process. The shift from a focus on metrics to a human-centric approach is essential, especially in an era dominated by artificial intelligence and algorithms.” The Spooner Staggs law firm (then as “Spooner & Much”) filed the brief for amici curiae American Property Casualty Insurance Association and National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.

About the Firm: The brand-new “Spooner Staggs” plaintiff’s law firm is the reconfigured “Spooner & Much P.C.” which was Oregon’s leading insurance defense law firm. Spooner Staggs is actively representing seriously injured clients in bad-faith insurance claims, leveraging its deep understanding of the insurance industry to ensure justice for those who have suffered due to insurers’ improper conduct.

For more information on this landmark decision or to schedule an interview with Tyler Staggs, please call, text, or email Tyler at (503) 880-6032 or [email protected].

Contact Information
Tyler Staggs,
Spooner Staggs
(503) 880-6032
[email protected]