Wilder v. Aetna Life & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 274-80

Docket NºNo. 274-80
Citation433 A.2d 309, 140 Vt. 16
Case DateJune 12, 1981
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Vermont

Page 309

433 A.2d 309
140 Vt. 16
Brett WILDER, Brian Wilder and Jason Wilder, minors, by Emma
Wilder, duly appointed Guardian
v.
AETNA LIFE & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY; Nationwide Insurance Company.
No. 274-80.
Supreme Court of Vermont.
June 12, 1981.

[140 Vt. 17] Dworkin & Jerome, South Londonderry, and Davis, Rounds & Mayhew, P. C., Windsor, for plaintiffs.

Robinson E. Keyes of Ryan Smith & Carbine, Ltd., Rutland, for defendant.

Before [140 Vt. 16] BARNEY, C. J., and LARROW, BILLINGS, HILL and UNDERWOOD, JJ.

[140 Vt. 17] HILL, Justice.

This is an interlocutory appeal from the granting of defendant Aetna's motion to strike from plaintiffs' complaint allegations regarding the Vermont Consumer Fraud Act, 9 V.S.A. Chapter 63 and the Insurance Trade Practices Act, 8 V.S.A. Chapter 129. The trial court granted the motion on [140 Vt. 18] the ground that those allegations did not state a claim upon which relief could be granted; it struck the allegations.

The dispute arises from a settlement agreement following an automobile accident involving plaintiffs and defendants' insured. Prior to trial on the merits, defendant insurance companies entered into a settlement agreement whereby the three

Page 310

minor plaintiffs were to receive a total of $4,000.00. Shortly after settlement, plaintiffs' mother, as their guardian, executed a general release on behalf of the minors.

Plaintiffs alleged that defendant had intentionally and unreasonably withheld payment of the agreed amount. Defendant claimed a $4,890.00 set-off against the settlement amount, because it mistakenly paid plaintiffs' guardian that amount in addition to the $20,000 settlement reached with the guardian for her own injuries.

Plaintiffs alleged that the refusal to pay was an unfair insurance practice, 8 V.S.A. §§ 4723, 4724, and constituted deceptive and false practice in commerce, 9 V.S.A. § 2453. They demanded treble damages and attorney fees pursuant to 9 V.S.A. § 2461(b). From the trial court's granting of the motion to dismiss that portion of the complaint resting on those two acts, plaintiffs received permission to appeal before final judgment. V.R.A.P. 5(b). Two questions, involving those claims, were certified.

The Consumer Fraud Act was created to protect citizens from unfair and deceptive acts in consumer transactions. Christie v. Dalmig, Inc., 136 Vt. 597, 600-01, 396 A.2d 1385 (1979). 9 V.S.A. § 2461(b), providing for treble damages, was added to the original...

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59 practice notes
  • Moradi-Shalal v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Companies, MORADI-SHALA
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 18 Agosto 1988
    ...Russell v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co. (Tex.Civ.App.1977) 548 S.W.2d 737, 742 [writ ref. N.R.E.]; Wilder v. Aetna Life & Cas. Ins. Co. (1981) 140 Vt. 16, 433 A.2d 309, 310; Tank v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. (1984) 38 Wash.App. 438, 686 P.2d 1127, 6 (See Klaudt v. Flink (1983) 202 Mont. 247, 658......
  • STATE EX REL. ALLSTATE INS. v. Gaughan, No. 24510.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 14 Julio 1998
    ...233 (Minn.1986); Tank v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 105 Wash.2d 381, 715 P.2d 1133 (1986); Wilder v. Aetna Life & Casualty Ins. Co., 140 Vt. 16, 433 A.2d 309 (1981); Kranzush v. Badger State Mutual Casualty Co., 103 Wis.2d 56, 307 N.W.2d 256 (1981); Scroggins v. Allstate Ins. Co., 74 I......
  • Farmer's Union Cent. Exchange v. Reliance Ins. Co., Civ. No. A1-83-79
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Dakota
    • 10 Diciembre 1987
    ...v. Badger State Mutual Casualty Co., 103 Wis.2d 56, 307 N.W.2d 256 (1981); Vermont, Wilder v. Aetna Life and Casualty Insurance Co., 140 Vt. 16, 433 A.2d 309 (1981); Virginia, A & E Supply Co., Inc. v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 798 F.2d 669 (4th Cir.1986), cert. denied, ___ U.S.......
  • City of Burlington v. Hartford Steam Boiler, No. 1:00-CV-170.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. District of Vermont
    • 6 Marzo 2002
    ...(entry order) (citing Denis Bail Bonds, Inc. v. State, 159 Vt. 481, 622 A.2d 495, 499 (1993), and Wilder v. Aetna Life & Cas. Ins. Co., 140 Vt. 16, 433 A.2d 309, 310 (1981)). Thus, if an insurer regularly fails to respond promptly to notice of claim letters, it may have committed an unfair ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
59 cases
  • Moradi-Shalal v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Companies, MORADI-SHALA
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • 18 Agosto 1988
    ...Russell v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co. (Tex.Civ.App.1977) 548 S.W.2d 737, 742 [writ ref. N.R.E.]; Wilder v. Aetna Life & Cas. Ins. Co. (1981) 140 Vt. 16, 433 A.2d 309, 310; Tank v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. (1984) 38 Wash.App. 438, 686 P.2d 1127, 6 (See Klaudt v. Flink (1983) 202 Mont. 247, 658......
  • STATE EX REL. ALLSTATE INS. v. Gaughan, No. 24510.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • 14 Julio 1998
    ...233 (Minn.1986); Tank v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 105 Wash.2d 381, 715 P.2d 1133 (1986); Wilder v. Aetna Life & Casualty Ins. Co., 140 Vt. 16, 433 A.2d 309 (1981); Kranzush v. Badger State Mutual Casualty Co., 103 Wis.2d 56, 307 N.W.2d 256 (1981); Scroggins v. Allstate Ins. Co., 74 I......
  • Farmer's Union Cent. Exchange v. Reliance Ins. Co., Civ. No. A1-83-79
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of South Dakota
    • 10 Diciembre 1987
    ...v. Badger State Mutual Casualty Co., 103 Wis.2d 56, 307 N.W.2d 256 (1981); Vermont, Wilder v. Aetna Life and Casualty Insurance Co., 140 Vt. 16, 433 A.2d 309 (1981); Virginia, A & E Supply Co., Inc. v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 798 F.2d 669 (4th Cir.1986), cert. denied, ___ U.S.......
  • City of Burlington v. Hartford Steam Boiler, No. 1:00-CV-170.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. District of Vermont
    • 6 Marzo 2002
    ...(entry order) (citing Denis Bail Bonds, Inc. v. State, 159 Vt. 481, 622 A.2d 495, 499 (1993), and Wilder v. Aetna Life & Cas. Ins. Co., 140 Vt. 16, 433 A.2d 309, 310 (1981)). Thus, if an insurer regularly fails to respond promptly to notice of claim letters, it may have committed an unfair ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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