FSM Partners Obtain Summary Judgment on Vexatious Refusal Claim03/14/2014
FSM Partners Ryan Karaim and Nikki Cannezzaro obtained Summary Judgment from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in favor of an insurance carrier in a first party uninsured motorist case on plaintiff's claim for vexatious refusal to pay. Prior to filing suit, plaintiff made a claim for UM benefits under his policy of insurance, demanding $900,000 to settle his claim. In response to the demand, the insurance carrier made a nominal settlement offer. Plaintiff then refused to engage in any further settlement negotiations and filed suit against the insurance carrier. On summary judgment on behalf of the carrier on the vexatious refusal claim, the firm argued that the difference in opinion regarding the cause and value of plaintiff's claimed injuries created an open question of fact to which the insurance carrier was entitled to a judicial determination without suffering penalty under the vexatious refusal statute. The District Court agreed and entered summary judgment. Purcell v. Allied Property and Cas. Ins. Co., Case No. 1:12-cv-00050.