Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Davis v. State Farm Lloyds, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas

November 12, 2019

CURTIS DAVIS, Appellant
v.
STATE FARM LLOYDS, INC., Appellee

          On Appeal from the 416th Judicial District Court Collin County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 416-04980-2017

          Before Justices Whitehill, Schenck, and Rosenberg [1]

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          BILL WHITEHILL JUSTICE

         Appellant Curtis Davis sued his insurance carrier, appellee State Farm Lloyds, Inc., for underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits. His policy excluded UIM coverage if he settled his claim against an underinsured driver without State Farm's written consent, and State Farm won summary judgment based on evidence that Davis did just that. Davis appealed, and the pivotal questions before us are (i) was State Farm required to prove it was prejudiced by Davis's settlement and, if so, (ii) did State Farm conclusively prove prejudice? We answer the first question yes and the second question no, and we therefore reverse the summary judgment.

         I. Background

         A. Facts

         We draw the facts from the pleadings and the summary judgment evidence as appropriate.

         In August 2013, Davis was in a two-vehicle traffic accident in which he and Jose Manuel Vicencio-Hernandez were the drivers. At that time, Davis was covered by a State Farm insurance policy. Vicencio-Hernandez was underinsured, and Davis notified State Farm that he anticipated presenting a UIM benefits claim.

         Davis's policy did not provide UIM coverage if he "settles the claim without [State Farm's] written consent."

         In June 2014, State Farm sent Davis a letter saying among other things that

• Davis's claim was transferred to State Farm's Subrogation services and that State Farm would attempt to recover its payments to Davis from whoever was responsible for his loss.
• Davis should tell State Farm if he was represented by an attorney so it could communicate with that lawyer.
• Davis should not sign any release or accept any payments that might affect State Farm's interests in recovering from responsible parties sums that State Farm paid Davis for his losses.

         Other evidence showed that on or about January 13, 2016, another insurance company sent to Bill Kennedy (apparently Davis's lawyer) settlement checks totaling $30, 000 and a release.

         Although the record does not show how State Farm learned of that settlement, the next day, State Farm transmitted a letter to "Nnk Legal Group" (apparently Kennedy's law firm) that Davis's insurance policy required him to secure State Farm's written consent to settle with any potentially liable person.[2] The letter also said that failure to obtain State Farm's consent might forfeit Davis's UIM coverage.

         Nevertheless, Davis subsequently signed a release of his claim against Vicencio-Hernandez. Davis testified in a deposition that he never got permission from State Farm to settle his claim against Vicencio-Hernandez and his insurer.

         B. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.