During this survey period, the courts in Georgia seemed to take a respite from the usual litany of automobile and uninsured motorist (UM) cases, the summaries of which typically populate this annual update. Instead, the courts seemed to focus more on liability insurance issues, rendering many decisions on well-known principles of law and a few important decisions concerning offers of settlement, counteroffers, notice, and the use of intervention in coverage disputes. Particularly noteworthy were two cases involving offers of settlement, one where an offer was deemed inadequate as a time-limited demand and another where acceptance of an offer was deemed inadequate where a proffered release proposed different settlement terms.
In the automobile arena, only one UM decision and one commercial trucking decision involved previously undecided issues. In the former, the Georgia Court of Appeals held that an automobile policy may provide UM coverage for a designated group of insureds and no coverage for others. In the latter, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in an unpublished opinion, held that an umbrella policy issued to cover the owner of a trailer also provided coverage to the driver of the truck who allegedly caused the collision as well as to the driver’s employer.
In the property arena, the survey period found both state and federal decisions on first-party issues like non-cooperation, judicial estoppel, valued policy law, diminished value, and principles relating to the proper construction of policy terms. While only a few of the property cases included in this survey have precedential value, the other cases were included because they reflect trends, arguments, or issues that practitioners may consider unique or important in the property insurance arena
Wolff, Bradley S.; Cave, Maren R.; and Martin, Thomas D.
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 71:
1, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol71/iss1/10