Brian Wood, Bill Davidson, and Peter Stiteler Receive Favorable Appellate Opinion in Declaratory Judgment Case

August 19, 2015

Brian Wood, Bill Davidson, and Peter Stiteler successfully defended their clients, a rental car company and its insurer, against a declaratory judgment action brought by a plaintiff passenger injured while riding in a car rented from the car company. Plaintiff, without first obtaining judgment against the driver, sought a declaration from the district court that the insurance policy provided coverage to the rental car. Lind, Jensen, Sullivan & Peterson argued plaintiff lacked standing based on Minnesota’s prohibition of direct actions against insurers. The district court agreed and dismissed the case. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed in a three page opinion, reasoning that plaintiff was improperly seeking a different declaration on appeal than he had in the district court without first amending his complaint.