Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) turns down a settlement offer from the insurance company's lawyer (Jon Voight) and wins his case in court. The insurance company is ordered to pay a hefty settlement to Rudy's client.
However, when the company's president (Roy Scheider) is caught trying to flee the country, it's revealed that the company was a sham, and had almost no money. So, Rudy has earned only a moral victory- his client will get no compensation. He'd have been better off taking the settlement offer.
Thanks John L!