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Henke v. Iowa Home Mutual Casualty Co.

Supreme Court of Iowa
87 N.W.2d 920 (1958)


Facts

Henke (plaintiff) lost two earlier negligence cases and was assessed damages far in excess of his insurance coverage. Henke was represented in those cases by a law firm retained by his insurer, Iowa Home Mutual Casualty Company (defendant). The insurer confided information to the law firm, but not to Henke. Henke then sued the insurer for bad faith and negligence in failing to settle the earlier cases. Henke’s claim against his insurer proceed to trial. At trial and at Henke's request, the judge ordered the insurer to disclose its communications with the law firm concerning the earlier cases. The insurer appealed the judge's order to the Supreme Court of Iowa, arguing that those communications were protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Larson, J.)

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  • 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.).

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