Etherton v. Owners Insurance Company, No. 14-1164 (10th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In December 2007, a driver rear-ended Donald Etherton’s vehicle. He injured his back in the accident. Etherton filed a claim with his insurer, Owners Insurance Company (“Owners”), seeking uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage up to his policy limit. After months of back and forth, Owners offered to pay an amount significantly lower than the policy limit. Etherton sued, alleging claims for (1) breach of contract and (2) unreasonable delay or denial of a claim for benefits. A jury found in Etherton’s favor on both claims. The district court entered judgment for Etherton, awarding $2,250,000 in damages. Owners appealed, arguing the trial court erred: (1) by denying Owners' motion for a new trial based on the allegedly erroneous admission of expert testimony; (2) by denying its motion for judgment as a matter of law based on Owners' purported reasonableness; and (3) in granting Etherton's motion to amend the judgment. Finding no reversible error, the Tenth Circuit affirmed in all respects.