Loya Insurance Co. v. Avalos (Opinion)Annotate this Case
In this case involving the collusive fraud of an insured and the driver of the other car involved in a car crash the Supreme Court adopted an exception to the eight-corners rule to determine the liability insurer's duty to defend, holding that courts may consider extrinsic evidence regarding whether the insured and a third party suing the insured colluded to make false representations of fact for the purpose of securing a defense and coverage.
Osbaldo Hurtado Avalos and Antonio Hurtado (collectively, the Hurtados) sued Karla Guevara after the car accident and sought coverage from Loya Insurance Company (Insurer). Insurer furnished an attorney to defend Guevara, but when Insurer discovered that Guevara and the Hurtados had lied to secure coverage Insurer denied both a defense and coverage. The trial court rendered judgment against Guevara, who assigned to the Hurtados her rights against Insurer. Hurtados then filed suit against Insurer. The trial court granted summary judgment for Insurer. The court of appeals reversed, holding that Insurer had duty to defend under the eight-corners rule. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court (1) correctly considered extrinsic evidence regarding whether Guevara and the Hurtados colluded to secure a defense and coverage; and (2) correctly determined that the evidence conclusively showed collusive fraud.