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Connecticut Supreme Court to Consider Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Claims when all Defendants Have Settled

The Connecticut Supreme Court is expected to hear argument in this term concerning whether once a plaintiff has settled with all known defendants (in excess of their uninsured/underinsured policy limits) if they can still bring suit against their own insurance company on an underinsured or uninsured claim. The case, Michelle Guarino, Administrator of the Estate of George Dufresne v. Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Company, is to be defended by Mills Law Firm, in New Haven. After the Estate settled with all known defendants, for a sum greater than their policy with Allstate, they then sued Allstate on an underinsured claim to which Mills Law Firm received a summary judgment in Superior Court dismissing the case. The Estate then appealed the Summary Judgment to the Connecticut State Appellate Court which upheld the lower court’s finding.

The Estate then appealed to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Attorney Joshua Balter, who represents the defendant, stated: “We feel this is a very important case, as it will clear up much confusion by both the public and legal sectors as to when both underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage applies and does not apply. The insurance company is either the provider of insurance funds in underinsured and uninsured claims, or, in the case of a hit and run type of accident, steps into the shoes of the unknown defendant; it is these two different hats which have confused many, and made for unneeded law suits.” Attorney Balter also explains: “One of the major areas of confusion has been in the area of apportionment of liability. Many in the legal profession have been rightfully confused and incorrect as to the need for apportionment of liability regarding underinsured and uninsured claims due to the case law which is available. Existing case law is too easily confused. This case should clarify the law in Connecticut.”

“While the arguments are technical, the outcome is important for the citizens of Connecticut, as it will help them decide how much insurance they truly need to protect themselves in times of need.”