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Local woman awarded millions in historic verdict

(KOTA)
Published: Nov. 22, 2017 at 12:08 AM CST
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A KOTA Territory woman was awarded $45.5 million in a legal battle that lasted years. It could be a South Dakota record.

According to Verne Goodsell and David Barari, attorneys for Fern Johnson, a jury awarded her the sum against UPS and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Despite being awarded medical treatment, UPS and Liberty Mutual stopped paying her worker's compensation bills. Goodsell says the company didn't follow a court order or the law. Because of that, Johnson was awarded a $15 million punitive judgment against UPS and another $30 million against Liberty Mutual.

Goodsell said it's the largest bad faith judgment in the history of South Dakota.