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Supreme Court of Alaska
January 25, 2013, Decided
Supreme Court No. S-14089, No. 6746
[*1222] CARPENETI, Chief Justice.
This appeal arises from a declaratory action filed by an insurer to clarify the terms of its duties under a policy. The underlying tort action resulted from a car accident in which the insured, while driving a rental truck, hit a person who was lying in the middle of the road. Both the driver and the person struck were intoxicated, as was a passenger in the truck. The person who was struck died from his injuries. The victim's estate and the survivors sued. The insurance company several times offered to settle the case against both the driver and the passenger (who may have faced liability for his actions after the accident) for policy limits. These offers were rejected. The estate offered to settle for the release of the named insured only, but the [**2] insurer rejected that offer. The occupants of the vehicle later settled with the estate, confessing judgment for about $4 million each.
After being unable to reach settlement, the insurer filed a declaratory action to clarify its duties under the policy and resolve issues of who was driving the vehicle, the number of occurrences, and possible breaches of the insurance contract by the insureds. The insureds assigned their claims against the insurer to the estate, which answered and counterclaimed for breach of contract and bad faith. The insurer prevailed on nearly all issues. The personal representative of the estate, for herself and as assignee of the insureds, appeals. Because we find that the insurer did not breach its duties to the insured, we affirm the decision of the superior court.
II. FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
301 P.3d 1220 *; 2013 Alas. LEXIS 8 **; 2013 WL 2374437
CAROLINE WILLIAMS, personally and as Personal Representative of the ESTATE OF ROBERT SHAPSNIKOFF and as assignee of ALYA LANDT and INNOCENT DUSHKIN; et al., Appellants, v. GEICO CASUALTY CO., d/b/a GEICO, Appellee.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the Superior Court of the State of Alaska, Third Judicial District, Anchorage, Sharon Gleason, Judge. Superior Court No. 3AN-04-09429 CI.
Landt v. State, 87 P.3d 73, 2004 Alas. App. LEXIS 50 (Alaska Ct. App., 2004)
insurer, superior court, settlement, occurrence, policy limit, attorney's fees, declaratory, settle, truck, coverage, add-ons, confession of judgment, settlement offer, substantial likelihood, bad faith, driving, intoxicated, breach of insurance contract, excess of the policy limits, conclusions of law, confessing, fault, award of attorney's fees, insurance contract, duty to defend, loaded
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Contracts Law, Contract Interpretation, General Overview, Costs & Attorney Fees, Attorney Fees & Expenses, Clearly Erroneous Review, Questions of Fact & Law, Insurance Law, Liability & Performance Standards, Settlements, Policy Limits, Good Faith & Fair Dealing, Duty to Defend, Remedies, Declaratory Judgments, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Genuine Disputes, Burdens of Proof, Nonmovant Persuasion & Proof, Materiality of Facts, Judgments, Pretrial Judgments, Judgments by Confession, Breach, Good Faith & Fair Dealing, Claim, Contract & Practice Issues, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review, Trials, Bench Trials, Torts, Defenses, Comparative Fault, Parties, Real Party in Interest, Assignees, Bad Faith & Extracontractual Liability, Assignment of Claims