Durden v. Geico Advantage Insurance Company

Filing 37

MINUTE ORDER denying defendant's 36 Motion for Reconsideration. Authorized by Judge Thomas S. Zilly. (SWT)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 6 7 LEO DURDEN, 8 9 10 11 Plaintiff, C17-651 TSZ v. GEICO ADVANTAGE INSURANCE COMPANY, MINUTE ORDER Defendant. 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 The following Minute Order is made by direction of the Court, the Honorable Thomas S. Zilly, United States District Judge: (1) Defendant’s motion for reconsideration, docket no. 36, is DENIED. Defendant contends that its basis for denying underinsured motorist (“UIM”) benefits was “reasonable” and that, as a result, it cannot be held liable for insurance bad faith or for violation of the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (“IFCA”) or Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. Whether defendant’s reason for denying UIM benefits was “reasonable” in this case involves genuine disputes of material fact and cannot be decided as a matter of law. The case on which defendant primarily relies, Anderson v. State Farm Mut. Ins. Co., 101 Wn. App. 323, 2 P.3d 1029 (2000), predates the enactment of IFCA in 2007, and is distinguishable. In Anderson, the insured argued that the insurer’s investigation (as opposed to its denial of benefits) was inadequate because the insurer failed to perform certain tests and did not interview particular witnesses, but the record did not indicate what such tests and interviews would have revealed. Id. at 334. Moreover, in Anderson, the plaintiff claimed that the insurer’s insufficient investigation caused delay in the payment of benefits, but the appellate court found plaintiff’s allegation that the insurer would have paid sooner if it had performed a more thorough investigation to be mere speculation. Id. In contrast, in this case, an eye-witness has repeatedly corroborated 23 MINUTE ORDER - 1 1 plaintiff’s theory that he was involved in a hit-and-run incident for which UIM benefits should have been paid, and plaintiff in this matter is not complaining about a delay in 2 payment, but rather a denial of benefits. 3 4 (2) record. The Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Minute Order to all counsel of Dated this 11th day of April, 2018. 5 William M. McCool Clerk 6 7 s/Karen Dews Deputy Clerk 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 MINUTE ORDER - 2

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