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Wilks v. Manobianco

Supreme Court of Arizona

July 9, 2015

LESLEY WILKS AND PAUL WILKS, WIFE AND HUSBAND, Plaintiffs/Appellants,
v.
JOHN MANOBIANCO AND SANDRA LEE MANOBIANCO, HUSBAND AND WIFE; JOHN MANOBIANCO INSURANCE AGENCY, INC., Defendants/Appellees

Opinion of the Court of Appeals, Division One. 235 Ariz. 246, 330 P.3d 1003 (2014) . Appeal fro the Superior Court in Maricopa County. The Honorable Colleen L. French, Judge Pro Tem. The Honorable Douglas L. Rayes, Judge. No. CV2010-026862.

Mick Levin (argued), Tidmore Law Offices, L.L.P., Phoenix, Attorneys for Lesley Wilks and Paul Wilks.

Myles P. Hassett (argued), Julie K. Moen, and Jamie A. Glasser, The Hassett Law Firm, P.L.C., Phoenix, Attorneys for John Manobianco, Sandra Lee Manobianco, and John Manobianco Insurance Agency, Inc.

Christopher Robbins and Joel DeCiancio, DeCiancio Robbins, PLC, Tempe, Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Arizona.

David L. Abney, Knapp & Roberts, P.C., Scottsdale, Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Arizona Association for Justice/Arizona Trial Lawyers Association.

Stanley G. Feldman (argued) and Thomas G. Cotter, Haralson, Miller, Pitt, Feldman & McAnally, P.L.C., Tucson, Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Robert Murray and Marcia Murray.

Greg S. Como, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP, Phoenix, Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Randy Jones and Farmers Insurance Company of Arizona.

JUSTICE BERCH authored the opinion of the Court, in which CHIEF JUSTICE BALES, VICE CHIEF JUSTICE PELANDER, and JUSTICES BRUTINEL and TIMMER joined.

OPINION

Page 913

BERCH, JUSTICE.

[¶1] Arizona Revised Statutes § 20-259.01 requires insurers to offer uninsured motorist (" UM" ) and underinsured motorist (" UIM" ) coverage to their insureds. Insurers may prove compliance with the statute by having their insureds sign a Department of Insurance (" DOI" ) approved form selecting or rejecting such coverage. Ballesteros v. Am. Standard Ins. Co. of Wis., 226 Ariz. 345, 350 ¶ 20, 248 P.3d 193, 198 (2011). The issue in this case is whether compliance with § 20-259.01 bars a negligence claim alleging that the insurance agent failed to procure the UIM coverage requested by the insured. We hold that it does not.

Page 914

I. BACKGROUND[1]

[¶2] For two years, Lesley Wilks had car insurance from State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, which she obtained through John Manobianco at the Manobianco Insurance Agency (collectively " Manobianco" ). Her policy included liability and both UM and UIM coverage. Wilks later replaced the State Farm policy with a policy from another insurance company. A year later, she decided to switch back to State Farm. When doing so, Wilks asked Manobianco to obtain " the exact same coverage that [she] had previously, full coverage." Manobianco did not look up Wilks's prior coverage and procured insurance that did not include UIM coverage. In the course ...


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