Menu

Individualized Inquiries Defeat Class Certification in UM/UIM Case—Again

March 31, 2014
Download   
Share Page

Since around 2003, several class action lawsuits have been brought in Colorado against insurers alleging that it was misleading and deceptive to offer for purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage on additional vehicles because such coverage was rendered illusory by a 2001 Colorado Supreme Court decision, DeHerrera v. Sentry Ins. Co., in which the court held UM/UIM coverage follows the insured person, not the insured vehicle. The latest round appears to have gone to the insurers.

In Maxwell v. United Services Automobile Association, plaintiffs brought a putative class action on behalf of auto policyholders against USAA, alleging that it fraudulently concealed information necessary for policyholders to make an informed decision about purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage on additional vehicles. The trial court granted USAA summary judgment in 2007, but the Colorado Appellate Court reversed. Thereafter, the plaintiffs moved for certification of the class. The trial court denied the motion.

The plaintiffs again appealed to the Colorado Appellate Court, which this time affirmed, holding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in (1) admitting data compiled by State Farm about insureds’ retention of UM/UIM coverage even after receiving notification of the DeHerrera decision, (2) holding plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the necessary element of predominance under Col. R. Civ. Proc. 23, because it would require individualized inquiry to determine reliance, in light of the State Farm data that tended to show a statistical lack of reliance and, (3) finding the filed rate doctrine precluded a refund of any UM/UIM premiums that were paid based on rates filed with the Colorado Department of Insurance, thus barring recovery for plaintiffs’ consumer fraud claims.


©2019 Carlton Fields, P.A. Carlton Fields practices law in California through Carlton Fields, LLP. Carlton Fields publications should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information and educational purposes only, and should not be relied on as if it were advice about a particular fact situation. The distribution of this publication is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship with Carlton Fields. This publication may not be quoted or referred to in any other publication or proceeding without the prior written consent of the firm, to be given or withheld at our discretion. To request reprint permission for any of our publications, please use our Contact Us form via the link below. The views set forth herein are the personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the firm. This site may contain hypertext links to information created and maintained by other entities. Carlton Fields does not control or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this outside information, nor is the inclusion of a link to be intended as an endorsement of those outside sites.

Subscribe to Publications

Disclaimer

The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.