Garcia v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am.Annotate this Case
Appellant was the beneficiary of three life insurance policies insuring her husband. After the death of Appellant's husband, Appellant and one of the insurers (Insurer) disputed how the policy proceeds would be paid to Appellant. Appellant, a Nevada domiciliary, filed a complaint against Insurer on behalf of herself and a nationwide class of similarly situated persons in federal court in New Jersey, asserting claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment. Sitting in diversity, the U.S. district court granted Insurer's motion to dismiss without prejudice. Appellant subsequently filed this action against Insurer in a Nevada state court, asserting claims for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of duties arising from a confidential relationship, and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The district court dismissed all of Appellant's claims on issue preclusion grounds. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) here, New Jersey preclusion law applies under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Semtek International Inc. v. Lockheed Martin Corp.; and (2) under New Jersey law, Appellant would be precluded from relitigating her claims in Nevada.