Posts tagged "Zurich"

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NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   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 […]

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

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Boyle, et al. v. Zurich American Insurance Company (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-155-15)

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11791   JOSEPH P. BOYLE & another[1]  vs.  ZURICH AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY. Middlesex.     April 6, 2015. – September 14, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Insurance, Insurer’s obligation to defend, Notice, Settlement of claim.  Notice, Insurance claim.  Consumer Protection Act, Insurance, Unfair or deceptive act.  Practice, Civil, Damages.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on June 27, 2011.   The case was heard by Kenneth W. Salinger, J.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     John T. Harding (Rachel M. Davison with him) for the defendant. Michael K. Gillis (David R. Bikofsky & Joseph I. Rogers with him) for the plaintiff. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Laura Foggan, of the District of Columbia, & Rosanna Sattler for Complex Insurance Claims Litigation Association. Anthony R. Zelle & Robert J. Maselek, Jr., for Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association. Charlotte E. Glinka, Thomas R. Murphy, & J. Michael Conley for Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys.     LENK, J.  Joseph P. Boyle was injured by an exploding tire in an automobile repair shop operated by C&N Corporation (C&N).  Joseph[2] and his wife, Janice M. Boyle, filed a complaint against C&N, asserting claims for bodily injury and loss of consortium.  C&N held an insurance policy issued by Zurich American Insurance Company (Zurich).  The policy required that C&N provide notice to Zurich of any suit brought against it.  C&N informed Zurich about Joseph’s injury.  It did not notify Zurich about the lawsuit, but the Boyles’ counsel eventually did.  Zurich did not defend against the suit.  C&N defaulted, and judgment by default was entered for the Boyles. Subsequently, the Boyles brought suit against Zurich, asserting both their individual claims and the claims of C&N, which, in the interim, C&N had assigned to the Boyles.  In return for a negotiated sum of money, the Boyles released the claims that they had asserted on their own behalf; these individual claims arose from Zurich’s asserted failure to settle the Boyles’ personal injury action when liability had become reasonably clear.  After a jury-waived trial on C&N’s claims against Zurich, a Superior Court judge determined that Zurich had committed a breach of its contractual duty to defend C&N.  The judge declined to award the Boyles (as C&N’s assignees) multiple damages, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 14, 2015 at 2:42 pm

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