A Pinellas County, Florida judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Terry Bollea, better known as celebrity wrestler Hulk Hogan, in a matter stemming from his son’s 2007 car crash that left passenger, Nick Graziano, with permanent brain damage.
Though umbrella coverage was recommended on several occasions by his insurance agent – and refused by his wife – Hogan sued his insurance broker, Wells Fargo Southeast, and his insurance carrier, alleging malpractice because the limits on his auto policy were not enough to cover Graziano’s settlement.
The lawsuit claimed his broker should have protected him with an umbrella policy, given his substantial assets and increased exposure as a result of his teenage children becoming licensed drivers.
Hogan’s limit at the time was $250,000 per vehicle. Because both vehicles in the crash were owned by Hogan, the total limit available was $500,000.
Hogan claimed all communication was through his former wife. He claimed he had to pay out of pocket to help settle Graziano’s claim. Though the amount remains confidential, he sued for full recovery of the settlement.
In a motion to dismiss, Wells Fargo noted that umbrella coverage was offered on several occasions, including just four days prior to the crash. Hogan claimed his former wife was incapable of making insurance decisions, but the defendants showed that she procured a personal umbrella policy for her own company and increased coverage on her jewelry and furniture.
Hogan accepted a nuisance settlement offer to avoid paying Wells Fargo’s costs.
According to Wells Fargo attorney Lloyd Schwed, “Wells Fargo gave the proper advice and recommendations so Hulk Hogan would be fully protected, but that advice was rejected four times. Wells Fargo did everything right in this case, but still got sued by Hulk Hogan. Fortunately, this match was not decided by World Wrestling Entertainment, but a court of law.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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