Churchill Insurance is appealing against a court ruling that a driver was entirely to blame for running over a teenager and leaving her with brain damage. The court had found in the girl's favour, but the insurer is arguing that the girl was partly to blame.
So why is it refusing to pay, and how common is it for an insurer to fight a payout?
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Bethany Probert of Silverstone, Northamptonshire, was 13 when she decided to walk home down a country lane after a riding lesson. She was walking on a grass verge on the dark lane and listening to music through headphones when she was hit by a car travelling at 50 mph.
She suffered broken bones, lung damage and brain damage. She needs specialist equipment and a specially adapted single-storey home. She also has a care worker. Her mother sued the driver for the cost of care for the rest of Bethany's life.
The High Court found the driver entirely to blame and ordered a payout from his insurers - although the amount had not been set. The Mirror says that at the time the Judge Mr David Pittaway, QC, said: "An ordinary 13-year-old should not be expected to consider taking the same level of precautions as an adult."
However, the insurers, Churchill, have been granted leave to appeal. It will be seen as a test case to establish whether children can be blamed for road accidents. A spokesman for Churchill told the Mirror: "While we accept that our insured was liable in part for the accident, we are appealing [against] the decision that he was entirely to blame."
The lawyers plan to argue that Bethany should have known of the need to wear reflective clothing because she was a horserider. The family argues that their lives have been ruined, they have waited three years to get this far, and it's cruel to make them wait even longer for closure.
The reaction on Facebook has been furious.Tracy Earp said: "Bad move Churchill, I'm another you can add to the very long list of people who will not be using you." Nicky Hobson agreed: "Disgusted you are blaming a young child for being run over... You will lose FAR more than a million in lost custom. Shame on you".
Paul 'Sparky' Sparks added: "You must realise the damage you are doing to your own reputation through this negative publicity is faaar outweighing whatever blood money you manage to recover from the initial verdict."
Churchill commented today: "We fully understand the sentiment around the tragic Bethany Probert case. We have already accepted that our insured driver was largely responsible for this accident. Please be assured that we will be abiding by whatever decision the Court makes. As is usual in these circumstances, as this case is now before the Court we cannot comment on it in any more detail at this moment in time."
It's not unusual for insurers to argue over a payout. At the end of last year we covered the story of Nic Hughes, whose wife had taken to online campaigning after his death. He had been refused a critical illness payout despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer of the gall bladder - on the grounds that his medical details weren't complete when he applied for the cover in the first place.
Insurers will always reject whatever they can because they are trying to limit their exposure, and because we are insuring against the worst case scenario, the tales of arguments with insurers are often tragic. But should we blame insurers for this? Or are they just trying to do their jobs?
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
10 of the biggest consumer rip-offs
Insurer appeals payout to brain damaged girl
Using a mobile phone to make and receive calls, send texts and browse the web while abroad can be extremely costly – especially if you are travelling outside the European Union (EU), where calls can cost up to 10 times as much as at home.
To avoid high charges, Carphone Warehouse suggests tourists ensure a data cap is in place, use applications to check data usage, turn off 'data roaming', avoid data-intensive applications such as Google Maps and YouTube and use wi-fi spots to update social networking sites.
Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is supposed to help people to continue meeting their loan, mortgage or credit card repayments if they fall ill or lose their jobs. However, policies are often over-priced, riddled with exclusions and sold to people who could not make a claim if they needed to.
At one point, sale of this cover - which was often included automatically in loan repayments - was estimated to boost the banks' profits by up to £5 billion a year.
Now, though, consumers who were mis-sold PPI can fight back by complaining to the bank or lender concerned and taking their case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (08000 234567) should the response prove unsatisfactory.
It could be you, but let's face it, it probably won't be. In fact, buying a ticket for the Lotto only gives you a 1 in 13.9 million chance of winning the jackpot.
With odds like that, you would almost certainly be better off hanging on to your cash and saving it in a high-interest account.
No-frills airlines such as EasyJet may promote rock-bottom prices on their websites. But the overall fare you pay can be surprisingly high once extras such as luggage and credit card payment fees have been added - a process known as drip pricing.
Taking one piece of hold baggage on a return EasyJet flight, for example, adds close to £20 to the cost of your flight, while paying by credit card increases the price by a further £10.
It may therefore be worth comparing the total cost with that of a flight with a standard airline such as British Airways.
Cash advances, which include cash withdrawals, are generally charged at a much higher rate of interest than standard purchases.
While the average credit card interest rate is around 17%, a typical cash withdrawal of £500, for example, is charged at more than 26%.
What's more, as the interest accrues from the date of the transaction, rather than the next payment date, costs will mount up even if you clear your balance in full with your next payment.
Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda often run promotions under which you can, for example, get three products for the price of two.
However, it is only worth taking advantage of these deals if you will actually use the products. Otherwise, you are simply buying for the sake of it, which is a waste of your hard-earned cash.
Buy a train ticket at the station on the day of travel and the price is likely to give you a shock - especially if you are travelling a long distance at a busy time of day.
However, you can cut the cost of train travel by 50% or more by going online and making the purchase beforehand - especially if you book 12 weeks in advance, which is when the cheapest tickets are on sale.
Other ways to reduce the price you pay include avoiding peak times and taking advantage of so-called carnet tickets, which allow you to buy, for example, 12 journeys for the price of 10.
Most High Street banks offer packaged accounts that come with monthly fees ranging from £6.50 up to as much as £40, with a typical account charging about £15 per month.
Various benefits, such as travel insurance and mobile phone insurance, are offered in return for this fee. But whether or not it is worth paying for them depends on your individual circumstances.