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Judge says CVS owes GEICO for defending pharmacy employee in accident case

By Hank Strickler | Jun 15, 2017

EAST ST. LOUIS — A district judge has ruled that GEICO is entitled to reimbursement by CVS for defending an employee who was in a car accident while delivering prescription drugs for the pharmacy. 

The May 25 order also requires that GEICO submit a supplementary briefing clarifying costs for its defense. 

The order in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois stems from a motion filed by GEICO on Nov. 18, 2015. The plaintiff filed a motion to receive a court order for reimbursement from CVS Pharmacy for legal fees for representing Nathan Dodd, who was in a car accident while delivering prescription drugs for CVS. 

In an ensuing legal case, GEICO represented Dodd. GEICO contends it was under no legal obligation to do so, and CVS should pay for the balance of the legal costs GEICO incurred during the case.

On Sept.24, the court found that GEICO did not have a duty to defend Dodd. However, at that time, the court did not address reimbursement for legal costs, which GEICO stated were $8,893.95. 

CVS argued that it had no duty to reimburse as it offered to defend Dodd and GEICO refused. Furthermore, CVS disputed the validity of some costs GEICO listed as contributing to the legal fees. Finally, CVS contended that the Sept. 24 decision did not address any reimbursement and it was procedurally improper to reopen the matter after a decision had been rendered.

The court found partially in favor of GEICO in its May 25 order. The motion from CVS to dismiss in favor of procedure was denied. The court found that it erred in not addressing legal fees, and so that decision was stricken. 

Finally, the court ruled that GEICO's summaries of legal costs were not adequately detailed, and some items did not relate solely to the defense of Dodd. As a result, GEICO was ordered to submit a new itemized list of its defense costs within 21 days of the decision, and CVS has 14 days to pay or respond. 

The parties can also meet to resolve the costs in lieu of submitting a supplementary briefing, the ruling states. 

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GEICO Insurance Company