Karl Chambers gave oral arguments in the case Bailey v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. In a published opinion, the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court in favor of our client, State Farm. The plaintiff sued the party that caused the accident along with State Farm seeking underinsured motorist benefits from State Farm claiming that his damages exceeded the liability policy limits of the at-fault party. Shortly before trial the liability insurer for the at-fault party agreed to pay the judgment regardless of the amount. The jury returned a verdict for an amount greater than the at-fault party’s policy limits and his insurer paid the full amount of the judgment. Notwithstanding the fact that the full amount of the judgment was paid by the liability insurer the plaintiff argued that he was still entitled to $100,000 in UIM coverage. We argued that there was no UIM coverage because the entire judgment had been paid by the liability insurer. The trial court agreed with us and entered a judgment only against the at-fault party. Plaintiff filed an appeal of the trial court’s judgment and the Court of Appeals also agreed with us that no UIM benefits were owed because the entire judgment was paid by the liability insurer.
Frank Patterson argued the Fisher vs State Farm case in the Supreme Court in October 2017. He receives periodic calls from insurers asking about the status. The Supreme Court has not yet issued a ruling, and there is no deadline to issue its ruling, but it is likely to do so by May or June.
Frank Patterson was honored with selection to the “TOP 100” in Colorado Super Lawyers 2018 following a blue ribbon review process. Frank has been listed annually in Super Lawyers for many years and has long been recognized in the legal community as one of the best trial lawyers around. Trial success followed from his earliest years in practice. It is believed he was the youngest attorney ever selected to the American Board of Trial Advocates when he was selected in the early 90’s. Congratulations Frank!
Frank Patterson was honored again by 5280 Magazine as a Top Lawyer in personal injury defense. Congratulations again, Frank!
Frank and Hillary Patterson teamed up with Frank’s wife, Robin, and Joe Buchholz to win the 2017 CDLA golf tournament. Pictured here are the happy Pattersons with the traveling trophy. Not bad for a team with a novice (Hillary) and a new hip (Robin). They hope to defend the title this year at the CDLA conference in Telluride.
Frank Patterson made oral arguments before the Colorado Supreme Court on the important Fisher v State Farm case on October 18. He expects a ruling by late Spring. The Court of Appeals surprised everyone in 2015 by announcing a rule that UM/UIM carriers were required to make piecemeal payments of portions of the UM/UIM claim which were “undisputed”. Typically, these would be economic damages such as medical expenses. The Court discovered this requirement in the “Unreasonable Delay/Denial” statute which, Frank argued, makes no mention whatsoever of partial payments or even of the UM/UIM statute. In effect, the Court of Appeals created a new pay-as-you-go medical coverage like the old PIP or No-Fault system. Unfortunately, this new mandate from the Court of Appeals came with no guidelines, regulations or legislative guidance such as exist with MPC or existed under the old PIP system. The case has generated substantial claims disputes and subsequent litigation over demands for “Fisher” payments. We hope the Supreme Court reverses this unfortunate misinterpretation of Colorado statutes and reinstates the system which had worked well for almost 50 years. Frank is happy to answer questions about the case or about the current state of the law in relation to Fisher.