Archive | UTPA

RSS feed for this section

Parker v. Safeco Insurance Co.

Parker v. Safeco Insurance Co., 2016 MT 173 (July 19, 2016) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in construing Parker’s insurance policy as excluding coverage for damage caused by a large rock falling down a hillside into Parker’s cabin. 

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed 

Facts: In March 2014, a large boulder dislodged from a hillside and fell down the hill into Parker’s unoccupied cabin, causing substantial damage. Parker submitted a claim to his insurer, Safeco.…

Ibsen v. Caring for Montanans, Inc.

Ibsen v. Caring for Montanans, Inc., 2016 MT 111 (May 11, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (6-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that the UTPA does not create a private right of action, and (2) whether the district court erred in holding that Ibsen’s claims could not be maintained as common law claims.

Short Answer: (1) No, and (2) no.

Affirmed

Facts: Ibsen owns and operates the Urgent Care Plus clinic in Helena. He bought health insurance for clinic employees from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) through a Chamber of Commerce program, “Chamber Choices.” In July 2013, Health Care Service Corporation bought BCBSMT’s health insurance business and BCBSMT changed its name to Caring for Montanans, Inc.…

Estate of Gleason v. Central United Life Insurance Co.

Estate of Gleason v. Central United Life Insurance Co., 2015 MT 140 (May 20, 2015) (Wheat, J.; McKinnon, J., concurring & dissenting; Rice, J., concurring & dissenting) (5-2, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) whether the district erred in applying the notice-prejudice rule; (2) whether the district court erred when it instructed the jury that it must first find UTPA damages other than damages for failure to pay benefits before considering punitive damages; (3) whether the district court erred by failing to direct a verdict against Central United for violating the UTPA; (4) whether the district erred in not dismissing the UTPA claim because Central United had a reasonable basis in law for denying the claims; (5) whether the district court erred in determining the date from which the statute of limitations was applied; (6) whether the district court erred in allowing the parties to present evidence of other cases in and out of Montana; (7) whether the district court properly awarded trial costs to Central United; (8) whether the district court erred in awarding attorneys’ fees to the estate.…

Victory Insurance Co., Inc. v. Montana State Fund

Victory Insurance Co., Inc. v. Montana State Fund, 2015 MT 82 (March 17, 2015) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in dismissing Victory’s common law UTPA claim, and granting summary judgment to the State Fund on Victory’s claim for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.

Short Answer: Yes, as Victory’s inability to establish damages is fatal to both claims.

Affirmed

Facts: Plaintiffs and defendants are competitors in the workers compensation industry. Victory is a Montana corporation in Miles City, and began operating in 2007. It sells work comp insurance directly to employers without using insurance agencies for sales or claims adjustment. Defendant State Fund sells work comp insurance though in-house and out-of-house agents. Defendants Liberty Northwest, Payne Financial Group, and Western States Insurance also sell work comp insurance, including State Fund policies.…

Landa v. Assurance Co. of America

Landa v. Assurance Co. of America, 2013 MT 217 (Aug. 6, 2013) (5-0) (Wheat, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly granted summary judgment to Assurance on the basis that Assurance had no duty to defend because the complaint did not allege an “occurrence” and did not involve “bodily injury,” and (2) whether the district court properly held that Assurance had no duty to conduct an independent investigation.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, and (2) yes.

Affirmed

Johnston v. Centennial Log Homes

Johnston v. Centennial Log Homes, 2013 MT 179 (July 8, 2013) (6-1) (Baker, J., for the majority; McKinnon, J., dissenting)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly granted summary judgment to Centennial on the basis that Johnstons’ claims were barred by the statute of limitations; (2) whether the release executed by the Leonards is binding on the Johnstons; and (3) whether the district court abused its discretion in granting Johnstons’ motion to dismiss Keeko Log Homes, Ltd. as a defendant.

Short Answer: (1) No, because factual issues regarding Johnstons’ discovery of the defects are in dispute; (2) no, because Johnstons owned 36% of the house at the time of the release and were not parties to the release; and (3) yes, as it did not allow Centennial to file a brief in opposition pror to dismissing Keeko..…