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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides one today

In Michael Ashby and Randy O'Brien v. The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Co., and C. Bruce Davidson, Jr., a 9-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Dickson writers:

This appeal challenges the grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurance company seeking a declaration of no professional liability coverage for claims brought against its insured
attorney who abandoned his law practice, was disbarred, and did not report the claims to the company. We reverse the summary judgment. * * *

We hold as a matter of law that the claims-made professional liability insurance policy purchased from Bar Plan by Davidson for his protection provided no coverage without Davidson's compliance with the policy's condition precedent requiring a personal written notice from him to the company within twenty days of his receiving a claim. As to the issue of estoppel, however, we hold that genuine issues of fact remain regarding whether Bar Plan's misrepresentation of valid coverage resulted in Ashby or O'Brien sustaining actual detriment. The trial court's grant of summary judgment to Bar Plan against Ashby and O'Brien is reversed, and this cause is remanded for further proceedings.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 21, 2011 09:55 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions