Loyacono v. Travelers Insurance CompanyAnnotate this Case
While driving one day in 2005, Kathryn Loyacono observed Watacha Shelby backing her car toward Loyacono on the same road. Loyacono brought her vehicle to a stop, but Shelby backed into the front of her vehicle. Following the accident, Loyacono proceeded by ambulance to the emergency room, complaining of neck and back pain. She was released the same day after being diagnosed with a muscle strain. At the time of the accident, Shelby lacked liability insurance, but Loyacono held an uninsured-motorist policy through Travelers Insurance. Accordingly, Loyacono filed suit against Shelby and Travelers, seeking to recover the policy limit of $2.5 million. Prior to trial, the circuit judge entered an order acknowledging that the parties had stipulated that Shelby had proximately caused the accident and that the Travelers policy covered any injuries Loyacono suffered, and proceeded to trial on injury and causation. The jury awarded plaintiff zero dollars. The Mississippi Court of Appeals found that the jury’s determination of damages conflicted with the overwhelming weight of the evidence. The Supreme Court disagreed, but affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision to reverse and remand for a new trial on damages because the trial judge admitted irrelevant and highly prejudicial evidence of the plaintiff’s husband’s income.