Title Company's Suit Against Insurer For Denying Coverage, Pluse a Criminal Case

By FindLaw Staff on September 10, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

People v. Laufasa, A127159, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for drug related crimes after he was caught at an international airport concealing about two pounds of methamphetamine.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that defendant's argument, that the trial court lacked authority to impose a condition that he not reenter the country illegally if he is ever deported, is without merit.


Chicago Title Ins. Co. v. AMZ Ins. Serv., Inc., G041188, involved a title company's suit claiming that the "Evidence of Property Insurance" (EOI) issued by the defendant-insurer was an enforceable binder and alleging that the insurer and its owner breached the terms of the EOI and engaged in bad faith by denying coverage for the homeowner's loss.  In affirming the trial court's judgment in favor of the plaintiff, the court held that the trial court did not err by instructing the jury the EOI was a binder of insurance and by denying defendants' motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, which asserted the EOI was not a binder as a matter of law.  The court also held that the EOI included all of the required elements for a binder under Ins. Code section 382.5(a) and was issued in accordance with procedures established by defendant for binding coverage in escrow transactions.  Further, substantial evidence supported the jury's findings of agency and bad faith.  And lastly, the court held that the trial court did not err by denying defendants' motion based on the doctrine of superior equities or by denying defendants' motion for a judgment of indemnity against third-party insurer.

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