Continental Ins. Co. v. Echols, 54965

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
Citation243 S.E.2d 88,145 Ga.App. 112
Docket NumberNo. 54965,No. 1,54965,1
Decision Date08 February 1978

Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers, Clayton H. Farnham, Atlanta, for appellant.

Rich, Bass, Kidd, Witcher & Billington, Casper Rich, Decatur, for appellees.

BELL, Chief Judge.

Plaintiffs brought separate suits to recover on judgments they had obtained against a known uninsured motorist. The defendant insurer pleaded that plaintiffs had not established legal liability of an uninsured motorist as required by Code Ann. § 56-407.1(g). The cases were consolidated for trial. The court made findings of fact and conclusions of law and entered judgments in favor of plaintiffs. The defendant appeals.

The pertinent facts were stipulated. The plaintiffs were insured under a policy containing uninsured motorist coverage. They were injured in a collision with a known uninsured motorist and a suit was filed against the latter. The uninsured retained her own counsel who answered the complaint by general denial. The defendant carrier was also served but it elected to file no defensive pleadings in its own name as it was authorized to do by Code Ann. § 56-407.1. The case came on for trial and the attorney for the operator of the uninsured vehicle confessed judgment in respective amounts for each plaintiff and a judgment was entered accordingly. A prior appeal was taken from this judgment. In the prior case we held that the insurer by not filing any pleadings did not become a party to the case and any defenses that it could have asserted were of no consequence in that suit; and that the uninsured operator's private attorney was authorized to confess judgment. Londeau v. Davis, 136 Ga.App. 25, 220 S.E.2d 43. Held :

As a defense in this suit, the insurer argues that it was not bound by the judgment in the other case between the plaintiffs and the third-party uninsured tortfeasor. Defendant cites Code Ann. § 56-407.1(g) which states in part that the insured in order to recover under the uninsured motorist coverage must establish "legal liability." Defendant asks us to construe this statutory language to require a "trial of the issues" as between the insured and the uninsured in order to bind the carrier to damages and since the other case resulted in a judgment based on a confession of judgment, there has been no trial on the issues. A judgment obtained against the uninsured...

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12 cases
  • Baker v. Continental Western Ins. Co., CIV. 90-5063.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. District of South Dakota
    • October 5, 1990
    ...Tennessee is the latest to join the list of only four jurisdictions which have adopted the contrary view: Continental Ins. Co. v. Echols, 145 Ga.App. 112, 243 S.E.2d 88 (1978); Park v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Am., 251 S.C. 410, 162 S.E.2d 709 (1968); Glover v. Tennessee Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., Te......
  • Curlee v. Mock Enterprises, Inc., 69355
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • January 29, 1985
    ...207 S.E.2d 222 (1974); Hinson v. Ga. State Bd. of Dental Examiners, 135 Ga.App. 488, 218 S.E.2d 162 (1975); Continental Ins. Co. v. Echols, 145 Ga.App. 112, 243 S.E.2d 88 (1978); Brady v. Housing Auth. of Atlanta, 165 Ga.App. 335, 300 S.E.2d 547 (1983); DeWaters v. Atlanta, 169 Ga.App. 41, ......
  • LeFevre v. Westberry
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • July 26, 1991
    ...... Ins. Co. v. Reaves, 292 Ala. 218, 284, 292 So.2d 95, 100 (1974) (quoting Gulf ... Continental Ins. Co. v. Echols, 145 Ga.App. 112, 113, 243 S.E.2d 88, 89-90 (1978); ......
  • Knight v. Safety National Casualty Corp.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • March 7, 2022
    ...of it, Kent and the cases it relies upon, see Boles v. Hamrick , 194 Ga. App. 595, 391 S.E.2d 418 (1990) ; Cont'l Ins. Co. v. Echols , 145 Ga. App. 112, 243 S.E.2d 88 (1978), were decided prior to the 2006 amendment of OCGA § 33-24-41.1 (a), which previously specified that an insurer was to......
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