Logourl black
From our private database of 14,200+ case briefs...

Gruenberg v. Aetna Insurance Co.

Supreme Court of California, In Bank
510 P.2d 1032 (1973)


Facts

Gruenberg (plaintiff) owned a restaurant. Gruenberg obtained $35,000 worth of fire insurance for the restaurant from Aetna Insurance Co. (Aetna) (defendant). On November 9, 1969, a fired occurred at Gruenberg’s restaurant. On November 10, 1969, Aetna dispatched P.E. Brown and Company (Brown) (defendant), a claims adjuster, to the scene of Gruenberg’s restaurant fire for the purpose of inspecting the premises and determining the extent of fire insurance coverage available to Gruenberg. While inspecting the premises, Brown stated that he believed Gruenberg had obtained excessive fire insurance for the restaurant and suspected foul play by Gruenberg in the incident. On November 13, 1969, Gruenberg was charged with the felonies of arson and conspiracy to defraud an insurance company. While Gruenberg’s criminal charges were pending, Aetna requested that Gruenberg appear and submit to an examination relating to the determination of his insurance benefits after the fire. Gruenberg refused to appear to discuss his insurance coverage until the resolution of his criminal charges, and informed Aetna of this fact. Aetna refused to accept Gruenberg’s failure to appear and informed Gruenberg that his claim for insurance benefits for the fire was denied. Gruenberg’s criminal charges were ultimately dismissed. Following this dismissal, Gruenberg brought suit in California state court against Aetna and Brown. Gruenberg alleged that Aetna and Brown breached their implied obligation of good faith in considering whether to provide insurance coverage to Gruenberg following the fire in his restaurant. Additionally, Gruenberg alleged that as a result of the bad faith of Aetna and Brown, he suffered “severe economic damage,” “severe emotional upset and distress,” loss of earnings and various special damages. The trial court dismissed Gruenberg’s complaint, and Gruenberg appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sullivan, J.)

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 240,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 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.