Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Peiffer

Colorado Supreme Court
955 P.2d 1008 (1998)


Facts

Donna Peiffer (plaintiff) filed suit against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm) (defendant) alleging breach of her insurance contract and for the tort of bad faith breach of an insurance contract after the insurance company refused to pay her personal injury protection (PIP) benefits under her policy in accordance with the Colorado Auto Accident Reparations Act, more commonly referred to as the No-Fault Act (the Act). Peiffer was injured in a car accident when her vehicle was struck by another automobile. Under the terms of her policy, State Farm was responsible for payment of up to $50,000 for Peiffer’s medical and rehabilitation treatments that were reasonable, necessary, and causally related to the accident. After the accident, Peiffer’s medical treatment providers deemed all of her treatment as being necessary. Nevertheless, State Farm instructed Peiffer to submit to three independent medical examinations (IMEs), each of whom indicated that Peiffer no longer required medical treatment or that continued treatment was no longer causally related to the accident. Based upon the findings of all the IMEs, State Farm refused to pay for further treatment other than pool therapy. At trial, State Farm called Peiffer as a hostile witness. During her testimony, Peiffer acknowledged that she failed to inform the examining physician that she had received substantial chiropractic treatments prior to the accident. Over State Farm’s objection, the trial court give the jury a “thin skull” instruction which prohibited the jury from reducing and award because of any frailty or condition Peiffer may have had that would have made her more susceptible to injury or impairment. The jury held for Peiffer and awarded her over $10,000 for the breach of contract claim and $10,000 on the bad faith breach of contract tort claim. State Farm appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court. The Colorado Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

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 (Bender, 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.

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 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 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.