ALL HANDS ON DECK-PERSONAL INJURY: Duty of an insurance company to an insured at the scene of a car

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In Kenyon v. Elephant Ins. Co., the 4th Court granted en banc reconsideration of an April 24, 2019 panel decision. On reconsideration, the en banc court held an insurance company failed to establish as a matter of law that it owed no duty to its insured when the insurance company begins processing and investigating an insurance claim when its insured calls from the roadside at the scene of a recent car accident to report the incident. The majority held Elephant’s summary judgment motion failed to establish the absence of a duty of good faith and fair dealing, a duty arising due to an undertaking to perform services, and a duty to train employees.

Chief Justice Marion dissented, concluding the duty Kenyon alleged was a new duty that could not be supported by the relevant public policy considerations. Justice Martinez agreed, and expounded upon Chief Justice Marion’s foreseeability and social utility discussion.

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