Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Powell v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

April 17, 2018

STEVEN POWELL, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLSTATE FIRE AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE DEFENDANT'S MOTION IN LIMINE

          William J. Martínez United States District Judge

         In this insurance action removed to this Court under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332 & 1441, Plaintiff brings a contract claim seeking payment of underinsured motorist (“UIM”) insurance benefits under a policy issued to him by Defendant Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company (“Allstate”), as well as claims for common law bad faith breach of the insurance contract, and unreasonable delay or denial of insurance benefits under Colorado Revised Statutes §§ 10-3-1115 & -1116. Now before the Court is Allstate's Motion in Limine. (ECF No. 75.) Because the Motion seeks exclusion of evidence the Court can only properly evaluate at trial, it is denied without prejudice.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's claims arise from an August 5, 2014 motorcycle accident in which Plaintiff was seriously injured. After settling his claims with the other driver's insurance company for the policy limits, Plaintiff submitted his claims to Allstate. Plaintiff alleges that after paying the $100, 000 limits applicable on his motorcycle policy, Allstate engaged in bad faith and unreasonable delay or denial in refusing to pay the additional $100, 000 in UIM coverage provided under his automobile policy.

         In summary, Plaintiff claims Allstate failed to properly investigate his claim, undervalued his injury and damages, “lowballed” him in offers and negotiations, engaged in “bad faith negotiating tactics, ” including by raising Plaintiff's own comparative negligence, failing to offer amounts internally approved or set as reserves, by “trying to get Plaintiff to bid against himself, ” and by “misrepresenting the amount of Allstate's [claim] evaluation.” (See generally ECF No. 44 at 34-38.)

         Plaintiff's arguments of bad faith have focused largely on by Allstate's claim adjuster, Ms. Linda May, who was assigned to Plaintiff's claim on approximately March 5, 2015 and handled much of Allstate's claim evaluation and communications with Plaintiff's counsel. Plaintiff also focuses on Allstate's use of a proprietary software program, Colossus, in its internal valuations of Plaintiff's claim and potential damages.

         For example, Plaintiff has argued Allstate is liable, in part, for:

• “[R]el[ying] on . . . Colossus-[while] understanding that the program had limitations and problems and would not result in a fair evaluation” (ECF No. 44 at 3);
• “[M]ak[ing] subjective discretionary adjustments to the figure which the software program spit out in order that the insurer could claim it did not rely exclusively on Colossus” (id. at 1-2);
• “[U]s[ing] the computer-generated figure, as subjectively adjusted, to try to leverage a resolution of Plaintiff's [UIM] claim for an amount substantially less than [his] coverage limit . . . which Defendant's claim file suggests it knew to be owing before this lawsuit” (id. at 1-2); and,
• “simply input[ing] data into Colossus and then us[ing] the Colossus evaluation to try to justify less than full [policy limits] payment (id. at 36).

         Plaintiff also claims Allstate “has failed to provide any evidence demonstrating how the Colossus program works” (id. at 36), and that Allstate misrepresented the amount of its own valuation to Plaintiff, at one point offering him $60, 000 in settlement (out of the $100, 000 auto policy limits), when Colossus had calculated a higher figure (id. at 44).

         II. ANALYSIS

         Allstate's Motion seeks to exclude trial testimony from Ms. May regarding a supposed “rule of thumb” for internally valuing claims at an amount equal to “three times the medical specials.”[1] (ECF No. 75 at 5; ECF No. 75-1 at 70:16-25.) This arose in response to deposition questions as to whether Ms. May had experience valuing claims before Colossus, and answered, in part, that “before Colossus ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.