Posts tagged "Caira"

Caira v. Zurich American Insurance Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-045-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   16-P-927                                        Appeals Court   MICHAEL CAIRA  vs.  ZURICH AMERICAN INSURANCE CO.     No. 16-P-927.   Essex.     February 2, 2017. – April 21, 2017.   Present:  Grainger, Sullivan, & Lemire, JJ.     Motor Vehicle, Insurance.  Insurance, Unfair act or practice, Settlement of claim.  Consumer Protection Act, Unfair act or practice, Insurance.  Practice, Civil, Consumer protection case, Summary judgment, Continuance, Discovery.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 9, 2015.   A motion for a continuance was heard by Timothy Q. Feeley, J., and the case was heard by him on a motion for summary judgment.     Mark T. Rumson (Paul F.X. Yasi also present) for the plaintiff. Jane A. Horne (Allen N. David also present) for the defendant.     LEMIRE, J.  In this case, we consider whether a judge in the Superior Court erred in granting summary judgment to Zurich American Insurance Co. (Zurich) on a complaint alleging that Zurich committed unfair claim settlement practices in violation of G. L. c. 176D, § 3(9)(f), and G. L. c. 93A, § 2.  We conclude that Zurich did not violate these statutory provisions when it conditioned the payment of its primary insurance policy limit on a release of all claims against its insureds, notwithstanding the availability of excess insurance.  Accordingly, we affirm. Background.  Shortly after midnight on September 14, 2013, Daniel Madigan-Fried was driving a rental car in Swampscott when he was involved in a one-vehicle accident.  The plaintiff, Michael Caira, who was a passenger in the front seat, suffered life-threatening injuries, and the two passengers in the back seat sustained serious injuries.  A few weeks before the accident, Madigan-Fried had rented the vehicle in his capacity as an employee of Groom Construction Co., Inc. (Groom).  Zurich had issued to Groom the primary commercial automobile insurance policy that was in place at the time of the accident.  The bodily injury coverage under the policy was $ 1 million.  In addition, Groom had two excess insurance policies issued by Starr Indemnity & Liability Company (Starr Indemnity) and Navigators Insurance Company (collectively, excess insurers) that provided coverage of $ 5 million each.[1] On October 29, 2013, Caira filed a complaint in the Superior Court against Madigan-Fried and Groom, alleging negligence.[2]  Caira claimed that excessive speed caused Madigan-Fried to lose control of the vehicle and to crash into a granite wall.  Zurich undertook […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 21, 2017 at 5:25 pm

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