Grange Mut. Cas. Co. v. Woodard, No. 15-13295 (11th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
O.C.G.A. 9-11-67.1 is a new Georgia statute governing settlement offers for personal injury and death claims arising from motor vehicle accidents. This case arises from an automobile accident involving the Dempseys and the Woodards, in which Thomas Dempsey was at fault. The court found it necessary to certify questions of Georgia law to the Georgia Supreme Court concerning the interpretation of section 9-11-67.1. The court certified the following questions: 1) Under Georgia law and the facts of this case, did the parties enter a binding settlement agreement when Insurer Grange accepted the Woodards' offer in writing? 2) Under Georgia law, does O.C.G.A. 9-11-67.1 permit unilateral contracts whereby offererors may demand acceptance in the form of performance before there is a binding, enforceable settlement contract? 3) Under Georgia law and the facts of the case, did O.C.G.A. 9-11-67.1 permit the Woodards to demand timely payment as a condition of accepting their offer? 4) Under Georgia law and the facts of this case, if there was a binding settlement agreement, did Insurer Grange breach that agreement as to payment, and what is the remedy under Georgia law?
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on June 30, 2017.