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Torts Keyed to Duncan
State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Campbell
Citation:538 U.S. 408 (2003)
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Curtis Campbell (plaintiff) was driving on the wrong side of a two-lane highway in order to pass six vans. Todd Ospital swerved to avoid a head-on collision with the plaintiff, lost control, and collided with a car driven by Robert Slusher. Ospital was killed in the accident, Slusher was permanently disabled, and the plaintiff was not hurt. Slusher and Ospital sued the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s insurance company, State Farm Mutual Insurance Co. (defendant), refused to settle the case despite evidence that the plaintiff was at fault for the accident. A jury found the plaintiff liable and awarded Slusher and Ospital $185,849. The defendant refused to cover the amount in excess of the plaintiff’s policy limit or help the plaintiff appeal. The plaintiff found new counsel, appealed, and reached a settlement with Ospital and Slusher whereby the plaintiff agreed to sue the defendant and give ninety percent of the verdict to Ospital and Slusher. While the plaintiff’s appeal against Slusher and Ospital was denied by the Utah Supreme Court, the defendant ended up paying the entire amount in excess of the policy limit. The plaintiff nevertheless sued Defendant for bad faith, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
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