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In re State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

Court: Tx Sup  03/19/2021  Supreme Court Finds Trial Court Abused Its Discretion When It Refused to Bifurcate UIM Trial

The Supreme Court held that the insureds could not litigate their statutory claims for unfair settlement practices arising out of uninsured motorists claims without first establishing the insurer's liability under the policy because they were not seeking damages for an independent injury, and, therefore, the trial court had abused its discretion when it denied the insurer's motion to bifurcate trial on the insurer's liability under the policy from the trial on bad faith claims, even if the insureds did not seek damages for breach of contract.

automobile liability insurance, independent injury, bifurcate, mandamus, abuse of discretion, sever, uninsured, underinsured, UIM, UM, discovery

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