LOS ANGELES (CN) – Tippi Hedren sued two insurers she claims are refusing to pay a $1.5 million judgment she won against an attorney she sued for legal malpractice.
Hedren, 84, sued American Guarantee and Liability Insurance, and Zurich American Insurance, in Superior Court.
The actress, best known for her roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” and “Marnie,” claims that the insurers are refusing to settle or indemnify the claims against her former attorney Joseph Allen, whom she had retained for a personal injury action.
A copy of that 2007 complaint alleges that Hedren was injured “when the roof of the studio broke open and admitted a sudden and forceful surge of water, which fell upon” Hedren. The complaint does not identify the “motion picture” Hedren had been filming on the day of the accident, June 22, 2006, but The Hollywood Reporter said Hedren had been filming the soap opera “Fashion House.”
Two years after Allen filed personal injury claims for his client, Hedren sued him in 2009 for legal malpractice, claiming Allen had dismissed the lawsuit without seeking her approval.
Allen refiled but a court ruled that the action was untimely.
A jury awarded Hedren $1,483,708 against Allen in 2011, Hedren says in the complaint. But even though Allen assigned all his rights under his professional liability insurance policy to Hedren, she claims, the companies are refusing to settle the judgment.
“Due to defendants’ unreasonable and wrongful failure to settle and/or indemnify Allen, defendants are now responsible for paying the entire, $1,529,193 judgment, plus all interest and costs, to plaintiff,” the lawsuit states.
Hedren seeks damages for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of contract, and direct action for recovery of judgment.
She is represented by Mark Quigley with Greene Broillet & Wheeler of Santa Monica.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Relying on reporting from The Hollywood Reporter, the original version of this article said that a “gallon” of water had fallen on Hedren’s head in 2006. The 2007 complaint makes no mention, however, of the amount of water that fell. Courthouse News regrets the error.
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