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PMB Obtains Writ Grant from Denial of Motion for Summary Judgment in the First Circuit

On January 26, 2022, the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the First Circuit reversed a denial of a motion for summary judgment and dismissed all claims against Liberty Mutual in a case involving electronically-signed UMBI Coverage Selection Forms.

The Plaintiffs did not dispute that their UMBI Coverage Selection Form reflected a choice of economic-only UMBI coverage. But, claiming they wanted full UMBI coverage, they nonetheless argued that their form was invalid under Duncan v. U.S.A.A. Insurance Co. because the name of the first listed policyholder appeared only on the signature line and was not printed a second time on the printed-name line. During Liberty Mutual’s electronic-signature process, when an insured clicks on the yellow marker icon to sign the form, the name of the first insured listed on the policy automatically populates on the signature line as a printed name. Thus, Liberty argued that

the policyholder’s signature satisfied both the signature and the printed-name requirements of Duncan, and that requiring a duplicate printed name on the printed-name line would not further the purpose of the printed-name requirement as stated by the Commissioner of Insurance. The First Circuit agreed. As a result, the Court explained, the form created a rebuttal presumption in favor of economic-only coverage that the insureds failed to rebut.

Minor Pipes and Katie Roth were the attorneys responsible for the submission to the court.

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