An firm on retainer will not be handling the suit for Nes. The insurance company would and probably did hire the attorney for the defense. The company's attorney may demand that the insurance company settle for the max of the policy if that would get the case settled. If the insurance company does not, then it would be liable for any final payment over the $16 million coverage. In other words, the insurance company could be stuck for the whole final judgment, if the plaintiffs would settle for the $16 million and the insurance company refuses. Put yourself in the plaintiffs shoes. You know the verdict will be reduced, you know that if Nes had to pay all of it, it would take bankruptcy and you would get pennies at best, you run the risk that the whole judgment might be tossed out on appeal, so that you have to start over and finally it will take years to get a final judgment regardless of what you do as long as it is still in court. I would not be surprised if the plaintiffs attorneys are now advising their clients, lets shoot for the $16 million and try to get a few extra million from the company, but be ready to settle for the $16 million.
If Nes has $16 million in insurance, the insurance company will pay for the defense and appeal. There is no judgment entered at this time, so the trial judge may and most likely will reduce the verdict before entering judgment. As I understand it, the victem died, so unless the financial loss to his heirs is $181 million, the verdict has to be reduced. As I asked in another post, was the victem Bill Gates? My curiosity is piqued by the question of what made this jury render such an outlandish verdict?