State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Adams

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Justia Opinion Summary

Roniesha Adams, her son, and her son’s father, Barry Adams (Barry), were passengers in Milton Mitchell’s car when the car was rear ended. Mitchell and his three passengers asserted claims against State Farm, seeking personal injury protection and uninsured motorist benefits. Because they allegedly gave inconsistent statements to State Farm regarding “substantive issues,” State Farm advised Mitchell, Adams, and Barry that they were required to submit to questioning under oath. Adams and Barry refused to submit to questioning under oath, and State Farm refused to pay additional benefits. Adams and Barry filed suit, and State Farm filed a counterclaim seeking a declaratory judgment that it did not have to provide coverage because Adams and Barry failed to cooperate with its investigation. The circuit court granted summary judgment for State Farm. Adams appealed. The court of appeals reversed, ruling that State Farm was required to obtain a court order before it could require Adams to submit to questioning under oath. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court correctly found that Adams was required to submit to questioning under oath regarding issues as a condition precedent to coverage.