Justia Antitrust & Trade Regulation Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Trusts & Estates
Estate of Gleason v. Cent. United Life Ins. Co.
Central United Life Insurance Co. (CULI) purchased Judith Gleason’s cancer benefit insurance policy prior to Gleason’s death from breast cancer. Gleason’s Estate submitted notice of potential claims under the policy to CULI. CULI paid certain claims but denied payment for claims submitted outside the policy limit. The Estate contested the denial of the untimely-filed claims. The district court granted partial summary judgment for the Estate, ruling that CULI owed payment for the untimely-filed claims, provided it was not prejudiced by the late notice. After a trial, the jury found that CULI had violated the Montana Unfair Trade Practices Act (UTPA) but did not award damages and therefore did not consider whether CULI acted with malice. The Supreme Court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded, holding (1) the district court correctly applied the notice-prejudice rule; and (2) when an insurer is found to have violated the UTPA, a jury is not required to find compensatory damages beyond those for breach of the insurance contract before considering malice and punitive damages under the UTPA, and therefore, a new trial must be held on the issue of malice and punitive damages. View "Estate of Gleason v. Cent. United Life Ins. Co." on Justia Law