Logourl black
From our private database of 14,000+ case briefs...

Bankers Life & Casualty Co. v. Crenshaw

United States Supreme Court
486 U.S. 71 (1988)


Facts

Lloyd Crenshaw (plaintiff) accidentally dropped a car alternator on his foot while performing work on a workbench. After attempting to treat the wound himself, he visited a local hospital and, after several visits, was diagnosed with a condition requiring amputation below the knee. After his amputation, Crenshaw made a claim with his insurer, Bankers Life & Casualty (defendant) for $20,000, the amount allowed by the policy. Bankers denied the claim, stating that Crenshaw’s amputation was caused by a pre-existing condition and not the incident with the alternator. Crenshaw contested this claim, corresponding with Bankers extensively. After several months, Crenshaw sued Bankers in Mississippi state court, seeking $20,000 in actual damages and $1,635,000 in punitive damages for the tort of bad-faith refusal to pay an insurance claim. The jury found for Crenshaw and awarded $20,000 in actual damages and $1.6 million in punitive damages. Bankers appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court, which affirmed the jury verdict in its entirety. Bankers then filed a motion for rehearing, arguing for the first time “[t]he punitive damage verdict . . . constitutes excessive fine [sic], and violates constitutional principles.” The Mississippi Supreme Court denied the petition for rehearing. Bankers appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Concurrence (White, J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Concurrence (O’Connor, J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Concurrence (Scalia, J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.