California Supreme Court

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Petition for review denied

July 16, 2014

U.S. Chamber urges California Supreme Court to review lower court decision exposing insurance adjusters to personal liability when processing insurance claims

May 27, 2014

In its coalition brief, the Chamber urged the Supreme Court of California to grant review and reverse the decision of the California Court of Appeals. The Chamber argued that the Court of Appeal’s decision will create confusion because it can be read as creating a “special relationship” between an employee of an insurance company and an insured, under which an insurance adjuster personally owes a new common law duty to an insured that other corporate employees do not owe to customers of their employer. Alternatively, the decision could also substantially broaden the scope of all California employees’ personal liability to consumers they deal with on a daily basis. The Chamber pointed out that this will create confusion in California insurance and agency law, adversely affect insurers’ ability to do business in California, and burden California courts with additional parties being sued and new claims being asserted in lawsuits that have traditionally been adjudicated as straightforward breach-of-contract disputes.

The Chamber filed the brief jointly with the American Insurance Association, the Property and Casaulty Insurers Association of America, and the Personal Insurance Federation of California.

Debbie J. Gezon of Robinson and Cole represented the U.S. Chamber as co-counsel to the National Chamber Litigation Center in this case.

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