Monday, November 11, 2013

Crisci v. Security Insurance Co. case brief

Crisci v. Security Insurance Co. case brief summary
426 P.2d 173 (Cal. 1967)

Defendant insurer appealed from a judgment of the Superior Court of the City and County of San Francisco (California), awarding damages to plaintiff insured, including damages for plaintiff's pain and suffering, because defendant's failure to settle a claim resulted in a judgment that exceeded policy limits.


Defendant's failure to settle an insurance claim in a prior personal injury litigation resulted in a jury award that exceeded plaintiff's policy limits. The trial court held that defendant knew there was a risk of substantial recovery beyond the policy limits and gave more consideration to its own interests than it gave to plaintiff's financial interests.


  • The court affirmed, holding that an insurer was not permitted to further its own interests by rejecting opportunities to settle within its insured's policy limits unless it was also willing to absorb losses from its failure to settle. 
  • The court also found that the award for pain and suffering was proper because the recovery was permitted for defendant's breach of contract that caused personal injury to plaintiff.


The court affirmed the judgment.

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