In Garrison Property & Casualty Ins. Co. v. McWhirt, WD84612, -- S.W.3d -- (Mo. App. W.D. Aug. 2, 2022), the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, recently interpreted 2018 amendments to Missouri’s interpleader statute, R.S.Mo. § 507.060.
We cover current issues, highlights and best practices exclusively on claims of bad faith and extra contractual damages.
Summary: A motorist, who was injured in an automobile accident with a rental car, brought a garnishment action against the renter and car rental company, seeking the $25,000.00 limit provided by the Motor Vehicle Responsibility Law (MVFRL). The renter filed a cross-claim against the car rental company alleging bad faith failure to settle and breach of contractual duty to defend. The trial court granted summary judgment for the car rental company and the renter appealed. On appeal, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, found the rental car company did not have a duty to defend the renter and the rental car company did not commit bad faith in refusing to settle.
Summary: In a traditional garnishment case against the liability insurer, the Missouri Supreme Court held recovery against the insurer was limited to the policy limits. The court held absent a finding of bad faith by the insurer, no extra-contractual damages were awardable.
Missouri Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act Created No Rights For Fire Loss Caused By Suicidal Insured
Summary: American Modern insured James and Ruth Roller when Mr. Roller set fire to the garage in a failed suicide attempt. American Modern investigated the loss, denied their claim, and then the Rollers filed a declaratory judgment action. The trial court denied coverage which the appellate court affirmed on all grounds.