Category archive: Missouri

Missouri Appellate Court Holds Rental Car Company Is Not an Insurer and Not Liable for Bad Faith

Summary: A motorist, who was injured in an automobile accident with a rental car, brought a garnishment action against the renter and car rental company, seeking the $25,000.00 limit provided by the Motor Vehicle Responsibility Law (MVFRL). The renter filed a cross-claim against the car rental company alleging bad faith failure to settle and breach…

New Missouri Law Levels The Playing Field For Insurers

On April 26, 2017, the Missouri General Assembly passed a bill modifying certain statutory provisions relating to settlement of tort claims. The bill, known as HB 339 and HB 714, grants certain rights to insurers when a claimant and tortfeasor enter into a contract to limit recovery pursuant to R.S.Mo. § 537.065 and imposes new…

In a Missouri “Traditional Garnishment,” Recovery Limited to Policy Limits Absent Bad Faith

Summary: In a traditional garnishment case against the liability insurer, the Missouri Supreme Court held recovery against the insurer was limited to the policy limits. The court held absent a finding of bad faith by the insurer, no extra-contractual damages were awardable. Allen v. Bryers Plaintiff Allen was rendered paraplegic when the handgun of security…

Missouri Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act Created No Rights For Fire Loss Caused By Suicidal Insured

Summary: American Modern insured James and Ruth Roller when Mr. Roller set fire to the garage in a failed suicide attempt. American Modern investigated the loss, denied their claim, and then the Rollers filed a declaratory judgment action. The trial court denied coverage which the appellate court affirmed on all grounds. Roller v. American Modern…

Check Out A.M. Best Insurance Law Podcast Featuring Aaron French and Phil Graham Discussing Missouri Bad Faith Law

Summary: A.M. Best and Best’s Recommended Insurance Attorneys and Adjusters has released the latest installment of the Insurance Law Podcast, a series that examines timely insurance issues from an attorney’s point of view. We explain why Missouri is quickly becoming known as a risky state for insurers handling third-party claims and details carriers’ options in…

Good Faith Interpleader Filing Protects Infinity in Impossible Settlement Situation

Summary: Infinity Assurance Insurance Company insured Ben Purscell’s car when he was involved in a serious auto accident leading to a serious injury and a death. His liability limits were only $25,000/$50,000. Infinity was unable to settle the underlying case which resulted in verdicts exceeding $900,000. Purscell filed a bad faith failure to settle and…

Missouri’s “New” Bad Faith Law

The Supreme Court of Missouri handed down its much anticipated decision in the Scottsdale Insurance v. Addison Insurance case earlier in December. This decision will have a major impact on Missouri bad faith failure to settle cases for years to come. Addison Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Fire & Casualty Company, was…

Insureds Duty of Utmost Good Faith Breach Sinks Sunken Barge Claim

Summary: Mark Twain, a cement barge owned by Continental Cement, sank on February 7, 2011.  After the insurance companies investigated, they denied coverage for the loss of the hull and the expense of removing the barge from the river.  The insurance companies filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration of no coverage which drew…

Missouri Vexatious Refusal to Pay Award Stands in Face of Insurance Companies Contingent Attack

Summary: Stewart Title Guarantee Company provided title insurance to Randy Spalding for nearly 420 acres in Cass County, Missouri in the amount of $1.7 million.  It also provided title insurance coverage to Paul Estes for a one acre tract in the middle of the 428 acres, which Spalding and others were trying to develop.  Stewart…

Missouri Punitive v. Aggravating Circumstances Damages

Linda Habibi’s blog post regarding the recent ruling in Lewellen v. Franklin, 2014 WL4425203 (Mo. banc September 9, 2014) is a departure from all prior posts to our Bad Faith Blog. However, that decision declaring unconstitutional Missouri’s statutory cap on punitive damages was sufficiently important to many of our regular readers to justify its posting….

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