Monday, April 20, 2009

Life Insurance is Not Covered by the Consumer Legal Remedies Act

Supreme Court Affirms Decision But Narrows the Holding From All Insurance to Just Life Insurance

Fairbanks v. Superior Court (2009) 46 Cal.4th 56
10 p.

At the time that the Court of Appeal decision in Fairbanks came out I praised it for its thoroughness and suggested that the issue would not have to be revisited by the California courts anytime soon. I was completely wrong because the California Supreme Court granted review of the decision. Today the Supreme Court issued its opinion.

A unanimous Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeal decision but narrowed its holding from all insurance to just life insurance. In the decision's only footnote the court explained that although the parties, the trial court and the Court of Appeal all took the broad view that the issue was whether insurance is a service for the purpose of the CLRA, the Supreme Court had "narrowed the issue to focus only on life insurance."

Like the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court found the statutory language determinative and held that life insurance is not covered by the CLRA.

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