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Mlekush v. Farmers Insur. Exchange

Mlekush v. Farmers Insur. Exchange, 2015 MT 302 (Oct. 20, 2015) (Shea, J.) (7-0, rev’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in determining Mlekush could not recover attorney fees and costs from Farmers.

Short Answer: Yes.

Reversed and remanded

Facts: Mlekush was in a car accident with another driver, Shaunaugh McGoldrick, in January 2011. McGoldrick admitted liability and Mlekush recovered McGoldrick’s $50,000 policy limits for bodily injuries. At the time, Mlekush was insured with Farmers Insurance under a policy that included underinsured motorist coverage with a $200,000 policy limit. Mlekush entered into a contingency fee agreement with Doubek, Pyfer & Fox, LLP to represent her on her UIM claim. In August 2012, Mlekush’s attorneys sent Farmers a letter of representation and asked Farmers to open a medical payments claim.…