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Torts Keyed to Franklin
Pavia v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.
Citation:82 N.Y.2d 445, 626 N.E.2d 24, 605 N.Y.S.2d 208 (N.Y. 1993)
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Sixteen-year-old Rosato drove Pavia and another youth in a car belonging to his mother that was insured by State Farm with a $100,000 liability limit. Rosato’s permit did not authorize her to drive at night. Rosato took a corner too fast and collided into a car driven by Amerosa while trying to avoid a double parked car on the corner. Pavia was seriously injured.
Investigations conducted by State Farm concluded that the Rosatos were likely to be held liable for the accident but that the record supported possible defenses, such as emergency (because the double parked car may have been backing up) and assumption of risk (because drugs were involved).
Two and a half years later, State Farm offered the fully policy limit of $100,000. Pavia rejected the offer as “too late.”
The jury returned a plaintiff’s verdict for $6,322,000, attributing 85% of the fault to the Rosatos and the remaining 15% to Amerosa. The Supreme Court reduced the verdict upon State Farm’s motion to $5,000,000. The Appellate Division modified the judgment by further reducing the verdict to $3,880,000.
The Rosatos subsequently assigned all causes of action they might have against State Farm to Pavia and commenced a joint bad faith action against State Farm, alleging that State Farm acted in bad faith by failing to accept Pavia’s policy limits settlement offer within a reasonable time despite the clear liability and obvious damages exceeding the policy limits.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.