Crisci V. Security Insurance Co.: The Dawn of the Modern Era of Insurance: Bad Faith and Emotional Distress Damages

28 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2007

See all articles by Jeffrey E. Thomas

Jeffrey E. Thomas

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law

Abstract

Crisci v. Security Insurance Co. typifies the doctrine of "bad faith," one of the most interesting and important contributions of insurance law to the general body of law. It "typifies" the doctrine with its classic, if somewhat extreme, fact pattern, and with its reliance on the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing for the recognition of a cause of action that sounds in tort. Yet it also represents a potential for bad faith law that has not yet been fulfilled: the promise of emotional distress damages for an insurer's failure to settle.

This article explores both what Crisci has contributed and what it may still contribute. It begins with a brief overview of the case itself, followed by an analysis of its historical contribution to bad faith law generally. It then turns to the issue of emotional distress to describe how courts have responded to Crisci on that issue, and to make a normative argument that emotional distress damages should be routinely available in bad faith cases.

Keywords: Crisci, Insurance, Insurer, Bad faith, Implied covenant, Good faith, Fair dealing, Emotional distress, Failure to settle, Refusal to settle, Effort to settle, Statute of Limitations, Tort, Contract

JEL Classification: G22, K10, K13, K41

Suggested Citation

Thomas, Jeffrey E., Crisci V. Security Insurance Co.: The Dawn of the Modern Era of Insurance: Bad Faith and Emotional Distress Damages. Nevada Law Review, Vol. 2, 2002, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1017087

Jeffrey E. Thomas (Contact Author)

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law ( email )

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States

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