April 16, 2009

California Supreme Court Denies Review in Food Pro v. Farmers

Last December we blogged about the Court of Appeal's published opinion in Food Pro v. Farmers, which rejected a plaintiff's claim for punitive damages in an insurance bad faith case.

The insurance company petitioned for review to the California Supreme Court (see the court's online docket here). Obviously they weren't challenging the opinion's punitive damages analysis; they were challenging the portion of the opinion in which the Court of Appeal concluded (contrary to the trial court's ruling) that the insurer had a duty to defend its insured from a third party lawsuit. The Supreme Court denied review yesterday, according to the Supreme Court's conference results.

Although the petition for review did not address the punitive damages issue, the denial of review is relevant to this blog. If the Supreme Court had granted review, the entire opinion, including the punitive damages discussion, would have been vacated (and therefore not citeable in California courts).