Court Sets Aside Default Judgment When Plaintiff Made No Attempt to Contact Defendant Electronically

The Arizona Court of Appeals earlier this month upheld the setting aside of a default judgment when the evidence showed that the plaintiff served the defendant by publication only even though he knew her email address, phone number, and how to contact the defendant through social media. In Ruffino v. Lokosky, the court agreed with the lower court “that modern methods of communication, especially email, were more likely to give [the defendant] notice of a suit than publication in a … Continued

Prior Agreement’s Forum Selection Clause was Still Enforceable

The Arizona Court of Appeals has upheld a forum selection clause against a doctor who, after selling his interest in an urgent care business to the new corporate buyer, was offered an employment position with a Phoenix-based hospital group. When the new corporate buyer, FastMed Urgent Care, P.C., attempted to enforce a five-year covenant not to compete clause, the doctor lost his new employment position and sued Fast-Med for damages. The doctor argued that the forum selection clause did not … Continued

An Insurer’s Duty to Defend Arose From Common Law Claim

The Arizona Supreme Court last month held that an insurance company had a duty to defend a homeowner who was sued by the new owner of a Paradise Valley mountainside home after it was damaged by a rock slide. In Teufel v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., the Court found that a provisions of the insurance policy that excluded liability claims arising under a contract did not apply because the new owner had alleged a negligence claim arising under tort, … Continued

Homeowners Can Assign Post-Loss Claims Despite Anti-Assignment Provisions

An insurance company cannot limit an insured’s assignment of a post-loss claim, at least in so far as the assignee is simply standing in the shoes of the insured. In Farmer’s Insurance Exchange v. EcoDry Restoration of Arizona, LLC, the Arizona Court of Appeals last month rejected the insurance company’s argument that, despite Arizona’s case and statutory law allowing such assignments, the insured should only be allowed to assign the claim when the amount of the loss is undisputed. The … Continued