Erie Insurance and the Horrible Terrible Very Bad Day--TCPA and Bad Faith Findings Upheld in Case Seemingly Destined for Supreme Court Review

JOHN RIAD V. ERIE INSURANCE EXCHANGE
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Suzanne S. Cook, Johnson City, Tennessee, and S. Morris Hadden, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Erie Insurance Exchange.

Joshua H. Jenne, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, John Riad.

Judge: MCCLARTY

This case concerns Erie’s refusal to pay insurance proceeds to Plaintiff, who filed suit, alleging claims of breach of contract, bad faith refusal to pay, and violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, codified at Tennessee Code Annotated section 47-18-101, et. seq. The case proceeded to jury trial. After denying a myriad of motions and reopening the proof to admit the insurance policy into evidence, the trial court submitted the case to the jury. The jury awarded Plaintiff compensatory and punitive damages and found that Erie’s failure to pay was in bad faith and in violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. The court assessed the statutory bad faith penalty and awarded treble damages and attorney fees. Erie appeals. We affirm the decision of the trial court.

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