from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County,
Christopher C. Foy, Judge.
plaintiffs appeal adverse summary judgment rulings on their
claims against the defendant and the denial of their
post-trial motion for additur.
J. Crowley and Edward J. Prill of Crowley, Bunger &
Prill, Burlington, for appellants.
T.S. Greer of Cartwright, Druker & Ryden, Marshalltown,
and Mark S. Brownlee of Kersten Brownlee Hendricks L.L.P.,
Fort Dodge, for appellee.
by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.
injured motorcyclist and his wife appeal adverse summary
judgment rulings on their claims for early underinsured
motorist (UIM) payments, bad faith, and punitive damages
against American Family Mutual Insurance Company and the
denial of their post-trial motion for additur.
Background Facts and Proceedings
Paine was injured when a vehicle driven by Marlys Wendel
turned in front of the moped he was driving, resulting in a
collision that sent him airborne. Paine was taken to the
emergency room of a local hospital. He testified to
"excruciating" pain in his ribs, hip, knee, arms,
and right shoulder. Paine was transferred to the Mayo Clinic
in Rochester, Minnesota, where he underwent surgery to repair
a fracture in his hip. In time, Paine developed necrosis in
the femoral head and underwent hip replacement surgery.
had a motorcycle insurance policy with American Family Mutual
Insurance Company providing for bodily injury coverage of
$250, 000. Paine also had a $1, 000, 000 umbrella policy with
the insurer. He and his wife sued American Family for
underinsured motorist coverage. They alleged that they
settled with Wendel for her insurance limit of $100, 000 and
were now entitled to "the full UIM limits" of the
motorcycle policy. The Paines also alleged American Family
acted in bad faith by refusing to make any UIM payments
despite its admission that Paine's damages exceeded the
limits of Wendel's coverage.
sides moved for partial summary judgment. American Family
asked the court to reject the Paines' bad faith claim and
request for punitive damages as a matter of law. The Paines
sought a declaration that the motorcycle policy imposed a
legal obligation on American Family to make immediate payment
of the UIM benefits available under their policy. The
district court granted American Family's motion on the
bad faith and punitive damage claims and denied the
Paines' motion on immediate UIM coverage. The court
dismissed the request for declaratory relief and set the UIM
claim for trial.
trial, the jury found in favor of the Paines and awarded
damages of $256, 847.69. The Paines filed a motion for new
trial and alternative motion for additur. The district court
denied the motions, reduced the damage award by another
insurer's payments, and entered judgment in favor of the
Paines for $156, 847.69.
Paines appealed the summary judgment and post-trial rulings.
Denial of Paines' Summary Judgment ...