32 JULY 2015 Claims Magazine PropertyCasualty360.com
Can anyone recall the Latin maxim for the legal princi- pal of profundus marsupium Probably not because I just invented the term using a Latin translator.
It roughly converts to “deep” (profundus)
“pockets” (marsupium.) For a large in-
surance carrier, the perception of having
“deep pockets” is a common concern, and
based on some trials, it seems there are
law schools aggressively teaching a form
of profundus marsupium.
There is a retail giant in the U.S. whose
logo is an enormous red target. Can you
imagine an insurer intentionally ap-
proaching an ad agency and asking, “Can
we use a big red bull’s-eye?” Many already
feel like there is a target on their backs.
It is not unusual to find attorneys who
pursue the deepest pocket regardless of
the proportion of fault, perhaps even letting those more responsible walk away.
Concerns of the “targeted” are reasonable, since they are often repeat players
in the same system with plaintiffs cherry-picking defendants in a bizarre lawsuit
Overcoming the Challenge
of Deep Pocket Bias
By Richard Wickliffe, CPCU, CLU, ARM
“Under the ‘deep pockets’ theory favored by many juries,
big companies end up subsidizing consumers and lawyers.”
—Barbara Hackman Franklin, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce (1992)