Ashby v. The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Co.

Plaintiffs Michael Ashby and Randy O'Brien, inmates at the state department of correction, asserted professional malpractice complaints against attorney C. Bruce Davidson to The Bar Plan Mutual Insurance Company, Davidson's professional liability carrier. Bar Plan then intervened in consolidated actions for damages filed on behalf of plaintiffs against Davidson, asserting a cross-claim that it was not obligated to indemnify Davidson for the claims of plaintiffs because Davidson had failed to notify Bar Plan of any claims against him pursuant to Bar Plan's policy. The trial court granted summary judgment to Bar Plan. The Supreme Court held that Davidson's failure to comply with Bar Plan's policy was not dispositive because plaintiffs opposed summary judgment on grounds of waiver and estoppel. The Court then reversed summary judgment, holding that genuine issues of fact remained regarding whether Bar Plan's misrepresentation of valid coverage resulted in plaintiffs sustaining actual detriment. Remanded.