Dearlove v. Campbell

[INSURANCE LAW]

In Dearlove v. Campbell,[1] the supreme court held that voluntary pre-trial payments are sometimes included in the recipient’s total recovery for purposes of Alaska Civil Rule 68 analysis.[2] In a two-car collision, Dearlove, the driver of the first vehicle, collided with and injured Campbell, a passenger in the second vehicle.[3] Campbell’s insurance covered Campbell’s medical bills of $20,000 and established a subrogation claim against Dearlove.[4] Dearlove first offered to settle with Campbell for $18,000, but Campbell denied the offer because it would have left her responsible for the subrogation claim.[5] Subsequently, Dearlove’s insurance company paid the subrogation claim of $20,000 to Campbell’s insurance company.[6] Dearlove then made a second settlement offer of $5,000, which Campbell rejected as well.[7] A jury later returned a total award of $3,870 for Campbell and both parties claimed prevailing party status and, accordingly, moved for attorneys’ fees under Rule 68.[8] The lower court ruled that Dearlove should be awarded attorney’s fees accrued after the second offer.[9] On appeal, Dearlove argued that she should be awarded attorney’s fees accrued after the first offer as well.[10] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that not including the subrogation payment in Campbell’s total recovery to be compared to the first offer to determine if Dearlove was entitled to attorney’s fees could lead to abusive settlement practices.[11] Thus, according to the court, attorney’s fees accrued by Dearlove between her two settlement offers was not available because Campbell’s recovery to be compared to Dearlove’s offer of $18,000 was $23,870.[12] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that voluntary pre-trial payments are sometimes included in the recipient’s total recovery for purposes of Rule 68 analysis.[13]

 



[1] 301 P.3d 1230 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 1235.

[3] Id. at 1231–32.

[4] Id. at 1232.

[5] Id. at 1234, 1232.

[6] Id. at 1232.

[7] Id. at 1235, 1232.

[8] Id. at 1232.

[9] Id. at 1233.

[10] Id.

[11] Id. at 1234–35.

[12] Id. at 1235.

[13] Id.

Dearlove v. Campbell

[INSURANCE LAW]

In Dearlove v. Campbell,[1] the supreme court held that voluntary pre-trial payments are sometimes included in the recipient’s total recovery for purposes of Alaska Civil Rule 68 analysis.[2] In a two-car collision, Dearlove, the driver of the first vehicle, collided with and injured Campbell, a passenger in the second vehicle.[3] Campbell’s insurance covered Campbell’s medical bills of $20,000 and established a subrogation claim against Dearlove.[4] Dearlove first offered to settle with Campbell for $18,000, but Campbell denied the offer because it would have left her responsible for the subrogation claim.[5] Subsequently, Dearlove’s insurance company paid the subrogation claim of $20,000 to Campbell’s insurance company.[6] Dearlove then made a second settlement offer of $5,000, which Campbell rejected as well.[7] A jury later returned a total award of $3,870 for Campbell and both parties claimed prevailing party status and, accordingly, moved for attorneys’ fees under Rule 68.[8] The lower court ruled that Dearlove should be awarded attorney’s fees accrued after the second offer.[9] On appeal, Dearlove argued that she should be awarded attorney’s fees accrued after the first offer as well.[10] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that not including the subrogation payment in Campbell’s total recovery to be compared to the first offer to determine if Dearlove was entitled to attorney’s fees could lead to abusive settlement practices.[11] Thus, according to the court, attorney’s fees accrued by Dearlove between her two settlement offers was not available because Campbell’s recovery to be compared to Dearlove’s offer of $18,000 was $23,870.[12] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that voluntary pre-trial payments are sometimes included in the recipient’s total recovery for purposes of Rule 68 analysis.[13]

 



[1] 301 P.3d 1230 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 1235.

[3] Id. at 1231–32.

[4] Id. at 1232.

[5] Id. at 1234, 1232.

[6] Id. at 1232.

[7] Id. at 1235, 1232.

[8] Id. at 1232.

[9] Id. at 1233.

[10] Id.

[11] Id. at 1234–35.

[12] Id. at 1235.

[13] Id.