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Murphey v. Mid-Century Insurance Company

United States District Court for the District of Kansas
2014 WL 2619073 (2014)


Facts

A vehicle driven by Beverly Murphey (plaintiff) was struck by a vehicle driven by Laura Wiggs (defendant). Kevin Lash, an adjuster for Mid-Century Insurance Company (Mid-Century) (defendant), was assigned to handle Murphey’s insurance claim. Lash communicated with Murphey’s attorney via email on several occasions to negotiate a settlement. Murphey’s attorney initially proposed an amount of over $366,000. Mid-Century’s lowest settlement offer was $116,000. In one email, Lash offered $221,000 to settle all claims. Murphey’s attorney accepted the $221,000 offer by email. Subsequently, Lash responded that the offer was a typographical error and that he had intended to offer $121,000. Murphey’s attorney and Lash exchanged further emails expressing their differing views as to whether a valid agreement was formed by Lash’s $221,000 offer. Murphey filed suit against Mid-Century and Wiggs in Kansas state court, seeking to enforce the parties’ settlement agreement and alleging breach of contract. Murphey sought a declaratory judgment that a binding and enforceable settlement agreement existed. The case was removed to federal district court. Mid-Century asserted a counterclaim for rescission and denied the presence of an enforceable agreement. Murphey moved for summary judgment as to her breach-of-contract claim and moved for a judgment on the pleadings as to Mid-Century’s rescission claim.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Robinson, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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