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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Golden v. State Farm (ND Ind., Moody), an 11-page opinion, Judge Rovner writes:

Cindy Golden brought this purported class action suit against her auto insurer State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”). Golden attacks State Farm’s practice of using its own in-house attorneys to defend its insureds against third-party claims, alleging that State Farm owes its insureds a duty to explain in its policies that such house counsel may be used. Golden’s policy (attached to her complaint) provides that in the event of an accident, State Farm will pay “attorney fees for attorneys chosen by us to defend an insured who is sued” (emphasis in original) for damages. The district court dismissed Golden’s complaint, concluding that Indiana law creates no obligation for an insurer to provide advance notification to an insured that it uses house counsel to defend its insureds. The court also denied Golden’s request to certify to the Indiana Supreme Court the question of whether advance notification is required. Golden appeals. * * *

For the foregoing reasons, we AFFIRM the district court’s decision dismissing Golden’s complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) and denying her motion to certify questions of state law to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 11, 2014 03:35 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions