Linden v. Safeco Insurance, 080599 AKDC, 3AN-99-3565 Civil

Docket Nº:3AN-99-3565 Civil
Opinion Judge:JOHN R. LOHFF, DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
Party Name:Tyrell Linden, Plaintiff, v. Safeco Insurance, Defendant.
Case Date:August 05, 1999
Court:District Court of Alaska
 
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Tyrell Linden, Plaintiff,

v.

Safeco Insurance, Defendant.

No. 3AN-99-3565 Civil

District Court of Alaska, Third Judicial District

August 5, 1999

         UNPUBLISHED

          DECISION GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR DEFENDANT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION

          JOHN R. LOHFF, DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         This court must decide if public policy and reasonable expectations of insurance buyers are sufficient reasons to order defendant Safeco Insurance to pay prejudgment interest under an underinsured insurance coverage where neither the insurance policy nor the applicable statutes provide for any prejudgment interest. This court determines that Safeco Insurance should not be required to pay the prejudgment interest in the present case.

         Both parties, the plaintiff, Lyrell Linden, who is an injured party, and the defendant, Safeco Insurance which wrote an insurance policy covering plaintiff, have agreed to the facts of this case. Tyrell Linden was a passenger in an automobile accident caused by the driver of a second automobile. Tyrell Linden received a payment of $100,000 (policy limits) and Civil Rule 82 attorney fees of $12,500 under the Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage in the Safeco policy.

         Under the cases of Hughes v. Harrelson, 844 P.2d 1106 (Alaska 1993), State Farm v. Harrington, 918 P.2d 1022 (Alaska 1996), and Wainscott v. Ossenkop, 633 P.2d 237 (Alaska 1981), plaintiff urges this court find he is entitled to prejudgment interest over and above the UIM policy limit of $100,000.

         The Alaska Supreme Court in Hughes, supra, found the insurance company had to pay prejudgment interest over and above the $50,000 policy limit because of statutory language in AS 28.20.440(b) and AS 28.22.101(d). These statutes, which set the minimum required UIM coverage in Alaska, provide the coverage required is "exclusive of interest and costs." That same language is not in the applicable statutes (AS 21.89.020(c)) in this case.

         The Supreme Court has regularly held that prejudgment interest is an element of damages covered by and included in policy limits, see Justice Moore's dissent in Hughes, supra. Only the specific language...

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