INSURANCE BAD FAITH: Attorney precluded from testifying as to comp claims handling… Cebull.
Suzy Enberg seeks to exclude testimony of Geoffrey Keller, a civil defense attorney retained by Defendants to provide expert testimony as to whether they acted reasonably in handling her work comp claims. Although he is obviously qualified to opine on handling of insurance claims, this Court has consistently prohibited attorneys and legal experts from testifying as to the law and applying the facts of the case to the law. His expert report reads much like a legal memorandum, making legal conclusions, commenting on the applicable law, and applying the law to the facts. It therefore invades the province of the jury and is properly excluded. McDevitt (D. Hawaii 2007).
Moreover, many of Keller’s opinions rely on reasons for denying coverage that are precluded by the Court’s ruling on Enberg’s first motion in limine. For example, he opines that Defendants had a reasonable basis for denying coverage because she had previously fallen while skating and injured her back sledding with her kids. For reasons stated in the 2/12/13 order, Defendants cannot rely on such reasons in arguing that they acted reasonably in denying coverage.
Enberg’s motion to exclude Keller is granted.
Enberg v. American Home Assurance, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, 40 MFR 299, 2/13/13.
Geoffrey Angel (Angel Law Firm), Bozeman, for Enberg; Gerry Fagan & George Kimmet (Moulton Bellingham), Billings, for Defendants.
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