CALIFORNIA COURT OF APPEAL UPHOLDS FIRM WIN IN PUBLISHED DECISION!
Tharpe & Howell’s Coverage and Bad Faith Defense Team and Appellate Team achieved excellent results for an insurance carrier client when the California Court of Appeal upheld the previous granting of a Motion for Summary Judgment in an action alleging bad faith!
In the underlying case, an insured of GEICO Indemnity Company (the Firm’s client), was sued for causing an auto accident while operating a company vehicle on a personal errand, and the plaintiff obtained a judgment. In the subsequent direct action against GEICO for recovery of its policy proceeds, the main issue concerned coverage for “non-owned autos,” and whether the company car furnished to GEICO’s insured had been furnished for her regular use. The injured plaintiff contended the company car had been furnished to GEICO’s insured primarily for business use, and only secondarily for personal use, with the result the insured’s personal use of the car at the time of the accident was not a regular one.
The Court of Appeal held, however, the company car had been furnished to GEICO’s insured for both business and personal use, including the use she made of it at the time of the accident, and that the use of it at the time of the accident was therefore a regular one. The Court also decided to publish its decision and lend additional clarity to this area of the law.
The case summary is brought to you by Eric Kunkel, the Firm attorney who handled the appeal, and by Trial attorney Timothy Lake, a Partner of the Firm in the Sherman Oaks office and Chair of the Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Practice Group. If you would like more information about how the Firm can assist you with coverage issues and related matters, please contact Mr. Lake at (818) 205-9955.