Los Angeles Insurance Coverage Practice Group Obtains Judgment In Substantial Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claim

December 31, 2014

Selman Breitman's Los Angeles Office successfully opposed a motion for summary adjudication on behalf of an insurance carrier in a hard-fought first-party insurance bad faith case. Alan Yuter and Andrew Chan prepared the opposition and were able to obtain a ruling from the court that there was no coverage for the insured uninsured/underinsured motorist ("UM/UIM") claim as a matter of law. As a result of the ruling, the insured's counsel, the prominent policyholder law firm of Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley LLP, agreed to stipulate to a judgment in favor of the carrier.

The case presented a substantial risk to the carrier as the insured sustained significant injuries in the motorcycle accident and demanded the full $1,000,000 limits of the excess policy. The coverage issue was whether the commercial excess liability policy provided coverage for a UM/UIM claim where the excess policy did not expressly exclude such claims and followed form with an underlying policy that provided such coverage. The court agreed with Selman Breitman's position that the insuring agreement of the excess policy could not be read to include UM/UIM coverage. In addition, the court accepted Selman Breitman's argument that the "follow form" aspect of the excess policy was limited to provisions of the underlying policy that were not inconsistent with those found in the excess policy. Thus, the excess policy did not provide coverage for the UM/UIM claim.

If you have any questions regarding the case, please contact Alan Yuter.

Selman Breitman provides this information for educational purposes. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case. This information should not be construed or relied on as legal advice or to create a lawyer-client relationship.