Gafford v. Allstate Ins. Co. (Majority, with Concurring)Annotate this Case
Petitioners purchased an insurance policy from Allstate Insurance Company for their rental property. The rental property subsequently suffered fire damage, rendering the home uninhabitable. Petitioners submitted a claim to Allstate, but Allstate refused to pay the full amount of the policy limits. Petitioners filed a complaint against Allstate asserting causes of action for, inter alia, breach of contract and specific performance. A jury found in favor of Petitioners. The federal district court denied Petitioners’ request for an award of the twelve-percent penalty, statutory interest, and attorneys’ fees under Ark. Code Ann. 23-79-208 but then awarded attorneys’ fees pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 16-22-308. The district court entered an order certifying the attorneys’ fee issue. The Supreme Court answered that the recovery of attorneys’ fees to an insured in an insurance-contract action is exclusively available pursuant to section 23-79-208, precluding an award of attorneys’ fees pursuant to section 16-22-308.