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Man pays $150,000 of settlement in quarters

Roger Herrin was ordered to return $500,000 in insurance money that he received after his son’s death

Revenge is a dish best served cold—or with cold hard cash.

That’s the philosophy that retired surgeon Roger Herrin followed when he was ordered to return much of an insurance settlement he collected after his son’s death in a car crash, and did so using quarters.

In 2001, Herrin’s son, Michael, died after a farm truck blew a stop sign and hit the car carrying Michael and three other passengers. The other passengers survived, but were injured, with one subsequently requiring several knee surgeries.

Michael’s family collected $1.65 million in wrongful death claims using their own private insurance. A pool of $800,000 of under-insured motorist coverage for the driver who caused the crash was split among the victims, with a district court awarding most of the money to Dr. Herrin.

Years, later, however, an Illinois appeals court overturned that ruling and ordered Herrin to repay $500,000 to the crash survivors. Herrin evidently disagreed with the court’s ruling. Although he maintains that he gave most of the insurance money to his ex-wife—and kept none for himself—he argues that he should not have to return the cash, considering that his son was the only one to die in the accident.

To express his displeasure, the former doctor paid $150,000 of the settlement using 600,000 quarters. The coins, which weighed four tons, were packed in plastic sacks and delivered to the plaintiffs’ lawyers in an armored Brink’s truck, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the doctor, his courtroom adversaries “were not happy” with his preferred method of delivery. But maybe they should consider themselves lucky: The doctor said that he originally wanted to deliver the settlement in pennies.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of settlements, see:

JPMorgan to pay $410 million in record energy settlement

Halliburton to plead guilty to destroying spill evidence

Judge signs off on IBM foreign bribery settlement

Litigation: Settling disputes and when an agreement may not be an agreement

Alanna Byrne

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