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Zupkus & Angell, P.C.
Denver, Colorado

The Colorado Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s Writ of Certiorari in the matter of Bocian v. Owners Insurance Company.

In the underlying case concerning alleged UIM benefits, Plaintiff sued Owners Insurance Company (represented by Z&A) for common law bad faith, statutory bad faith and breach of contract. The jury found there was no basis for Plaintiff’s bad faith claims. Additionally, Owners was deemed to be the prevailing party, resulting in an award of costs.

In a published opinion, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the defense verdict in favor of Owners. One of the issues on appeal concerned an Order granting Owners’ C.R.E. 702/Shreck motion to strike testimony of Plaintiff’s economic expert, arguing that the expert’s methodology was flawed. The Court of Appeals upheld the Order striking the expert and any mention of his report. At trial, this ruling further bolstered Owners’ argument that it was reasonable in requesting additional information from Plaintiff (which Plaintiff never provided) as part of its evaluation of Plaintiff’s claimed injuries.

Ultimately, because this case went to trial, because the defense was able to prevail on the bad faith claims, and because both the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court upheld the lower court ruling, this outcome undoubtedly represents a victory for insurers defending against bad faith claims in Colorado.