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Brainard v. Trinity Universal Insurance Company

By July 11, 2017January 25th, 2024No Comments

In 1999, Edward H. Brainard II was killed in a head-on collision with a semi-truck. His family sought their uninsured motorist insurance benefits and personal injury protection from Trinity Universal Insurance Company, under a policy under the family business. Their personal injury protection was paid out in the full amount of $5,000. However the insurance company requested more information for the uninsured motorist insurance claim. The Brainard’s said that they did all the necessary steps and sent it all the requested materials and then some but were never paid any money. The Brainards claimed that Trinity had breached the common law duty of good faith and tried to take their case to court to force Trinity to pay the UIM claim. This case made it to the Supreme Court of Texas for a hearing. The Court stated in this case that an insurance company cannot act in Bad Faith to pay a claim unless a civil judgement has been made in the case. So unless you go to court and get a judgment against an insurance company, the insurance company cannot be found to be acting in bad faith unless there is a judgment of record to be enforced.

Basically, this case was decided in favor of insurance companies and further harmed plaintiffs ability to confront their insurance companies for failure to pay on claims.

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