News Brief

Kemper, Bokeno and Jones Obtain Summary Judgment in Bad Faith / Contractual Claims Case

February 10, 2023

Louisville, Kentucky of counsel Doug Kemper, assisted by associates A.J. Bokeno and Sam Jones, secured summary judgment in Knott (Ky.) Circuit Court against bad faith and contractual claims asserted against our carrier client by an insured, whose policy had lapsed for non-payment of premium and was out of force on the date of the subject accident. The plaintiff joined contractual and bad faith claims against our client, alleging that it failed to pay basic reparation benefits under the policy and failed to make payment on her liability claim against the driver (her husband), who clearly was at fault for the accident. We had obtained a default judgment against the driver, but the plaintiff persisted in pursuing her claims, arguing that the insurer waived its right to assert a policy defense by offering her an opportunity to make a late payment after her prior payment was returned by her bank. We responded that even though the insurer accepted the late payment and reinstated the policy, there was no coverage for the period of time between the cancellation and reinstatement – which is when the accident occurred. The court dismissed all contractual and bad faith claims, and reaffirmed that the policy was out of force on the date of the accident, effectively precluding our client’s liability for any claim asserted by the driver of the other vehicle against the driver of the “insured” vehicle.

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