Feathers v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co.

CourtCourt of Appeals of Kentucky
Writing for the CourtBefore HAYES; McDONALD
Citation667 S.W.2d 693
PartiesArthur K. FEATHERS and Mary Jane Feathers, Appellants, v. STATE FARM FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY, Appellee.
Decision Date05 August 1983

Page 693

667 S.W.2d 693
Arthur K. FEATHERS and Mary Jane Feathers, Appellants,
v.
STATE FARM FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY, Appellee.
Court of Appeals of Kentucky.
Aug. 5, 1983.
Opinion Modified Nov. 25, 1983.
Appeal Dismissed Nov. 25, 1983.
Discretionary Review Denied by
Supreme Court April 12, 1984.

Page 694

David E. Arvin, Hopkinsville, for appellants.

William J. Rudloff, Harlin, Parker & Rudloff, Bowling Green, for appellee.

Before HAYES, C.J., and COOPER and McDONALD, JJ.

McDONALD, Judge.

This is an appeal by the policyholders of a homeowner's broad form fire insurance policy. A partial summary judgment was entered against the policyholders dismissing their claim against State Farm Fire & Casualty Company for an alleged breach of the insurance company's admitted duty to perform in good faith.

The policyholders are the appellants, Arthur K. and Mary Jane Feathers. They suffered a fire loss on May 31, 1981, which destroyed their home and personal belongings.

The appellants filed a claim with State Farm which was later reduced to a sworn proof of loss. The proof of loss was timely filed; however, it was rejected by State Farm on the grounds that it contained misrepresentations.

Almost a year after the fire, on May 28, 1982, the appellants filed suit to recover their losses. Their complaint contained two counts. Count One alleged:

Dwelling damage $69,000.00
                Personal property loss $29,000.00
                Loss of use of dwelling $ 5,000.00
                

It was also alleged that every policy condition and term was duly complied with and that repeated demands were made upon State Farm for payment but to no avail.

Count Two, in part, alleged that State Farm owed "a duty to act in good faith in effecting a fair and reasonable settlement of these just claims without harassment or unreasonable delay." Count Two also alleged that because State Farm refused to deal with the appellants fairly and pay their just and documented claims, the appellants suffered acute anxiety and mental suffering, and loss of consortium.

State Farm filed its answer admitting a duty to act in good faith with the appellants but said,

[T]he fire gives rise to the reasonable belief that said fire was the result of arson and that Plaintiffs [Featherses] or one of them with the knowledge of the other, burned or procured the burning of the dwelling house referred to in Plaintiffs' complaint. Said intentional burning of said dwelling house constituted fraud and voided the above-mentioned policy of insurance.

State Farm moved for summary judgment to dismiss Count Two of the complaint on the grounds that the appellants have no basis or standing under Kentucky law to assert such claim for consequential and punitive damages. The trial court sustained State Farm's motion for summary

Page 695

judgment and on October 28, 1982, dismissed that portion of the complaint requesting consequential and punitive damages.

Attention is drawn to the fact that the record is totally devoid of any proof or testimony except for the appellants' compliance with State Farm's request to produce certain documents. While the dismissal is noted to be pursuant to CR 56, we determine it was actually under CR 12, a judgment on the pleadings--more specifically, CR 12.02(f), failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. That is so because we cannot determine whether matters outside the pleadings were presented. We reason the dismissal was under CR 12.02(f) and CR 12.03. See LaVielle v. Seay, Ky., 412 S.W.2d 587 (1967), and Spillman v. Beauchamp, Ky., 362 S.W.2d 33, 2 A.L.R.3d 814 (1962). Accordingly, we conclude the trial court erred.

ISSUE

The question on appeal is whether the appellants pled a cause of action against State Farm for consequential and punitive damages.

The arguments run thus: The appellants rely mainly on Hensley v. Paul Miller Ford, Inc., Ky., 508 S.W.2d 759 (1974), and Manchester Ins. & Indem. Co. v. Grundy, Ky., 531 S.W.2d 493 (1975). In Hensley, supra, the court allowed consequential and punitive damages arising out of a car dealership wrongfully selling Mr. Hensley's car. The damages arose against the dealership for trover and conversion. The initial contacts between the parties was by contract but the wrongful sale of the vehicle of Mr. Hensley became an independent tort.

In Manchester, supra, the insurance company...

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34 practice notes
  • Commonwealth Lloyd's Ins. Co. v. Thomas, No. 05-90-00785-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • January 15, 1992
    ...Sheet Metal Prods. Co. v. Protection Mut. Ins. Co., 34 Conn.Supp. 46, 375 A.2d 428 (1977); Feathers v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 667 S.W.2d 693 (Ky.Ct.App.1983); Lipinski v. Title Ins. Co., 202 Mont. 1, 655 P.2d 970 (1982); United States Fidelity & Guar. Co. v. Peterson, 91 Nev. 617, ......
  • Farmland Mut. Ins. Co. v. Johnson, No. 1998-SC-0938-DG.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • October 26, 2000
    ...(1993). 32. See Federal Kemper, 711 S.W.2d 844 (1986) (Leibson, J., dissenting); Feathers v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., Ky.App., 667 S.W.2d 693, 696 (1983) (overruled by Federal Kemper,) Ky., 711 S.W.2d 844, 845 (1986) (overruled by 33. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Reeder......
  • First Nat. Bank of Louisville v. Lustig, No. 94-30619
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • September 30, 1996
    ...General Accident Fire & Life Assur. Corp. v. Judd, 400 S.W.2d 685, 687 (Ky.1966). However, in Feathers v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 667 S.W.2d 693, 696 (Ky.Ct.App.1983), a Kentucky appellate court recognized for the first time the tort of first party bad faith. This tort had a short life ......
  • Empire Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Simpsonville Wrecker Service, Inc., No. 92-CA-2738-MR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • April 29, 1994
    ...are factually distinguishable and do not govern the precise issue presented here. In Feathers v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., Ky.App., 667 S.W.2d 693 (1983), overruled, 711 S.W.2d 844 (1986), Federal Kemper Insurance Co. v. Hornback, Ky., 711 S.W.2d 844 (1986), overruled, 784 S.W.2d 176 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
34 cases
  • Commonwealth Lloyd's Ins. Co. v. Thomas, No. 05-90-00785-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • January 15, 1992
    ...Sheet Metal Prods. Co. v. Protection Mut. Ins. Co., 34 Conn.Supp. 46, 375 A.2d 428 (1977); Feathers v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 667 S.W.2d 693 (Ky.Ct.App.1983); Lipinski v. Title Ins. Co., 202 Mont. 1, 655 P.2d 970 (1982); United States Fidelity & Guar. Co. v. Peterson, 91 Nev. 617, ......
  • Farmland Mut. Ins. Co. v. Johnson, No. 1998-SC-0938-DG.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • October 26, 2000
    ...(1993). 32. See Federal Kemper, 711 S.W.2d 844 (1986) (Leibson, J., dissenting); Feathers v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., Ky.App., 667 S.W.2d 693, 696 (1983) (overruled by Federal Kemper,) Ky., 711 S.W.2d 844, 845 (1986) (overruled by 33. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Reeder......
  • First Nat. Bank of Louisville v. Lustig, No. 94-30619
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • September 30, 1996
    ...General Accident Fire & Life Assur. Corp. v. Judd, 400 S.W.2d 685, 687 (Ky.1966). However, in Feathers v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 667 S.W.2d 693, 696 (Ky.Ct.App.1983), a Kentucky appellate court recognized for the first time the tort of first party bad faith. This tort had a short life ......
  • Empire Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Simpsonville Wrecker Service, Inc., No. 92-CA-2738-MR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • April 29, 1994
    ...are factually distinguishable and do not govern the precise issue presented here. In Feathers v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., Ky.App., 667 S.W.2d 693 (1983), overruled, 711 S.W.2d 844 (1986), Federal Kemper Insurance Co. v. Hornback, Ky., 711 S.W.2d 844 (1986), overruled, 784 S.W.2d 176 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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