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Farmers Ins. Co. v. Mowry

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-09-2011
Case #: S058706
Balmer, J. for the Court; Durharm, J.; DeMuniz, C.J.; & Walters, J. concurring
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S058706.pdf

Insurance Law: The court affirmed Collins v. Farmers Ins. Co. as stare decisis that that exclusion clauses within a motor vehicle insurance policy that eliminated coverage of one insured against another insured of the same policy are unenforceable to the extent that they failed to provide the minimum coverage required by law.

Mowry was injured in a car accident in which her friend was driving, but was covered under Mowry’s Farmers Insurance (Farmers) policy. The policy contained an exclusion clause identical to the exclusion at issue in Collins v. Farmers Ins. Co. Collins, which stated that exclusion clauses within a motor vehicle insurance policy that eliminate coverage of one insured against another insured of the same policy are unenforceable to the extent that they fail to provide the minimum coverage required by law. Mowry argued that the Oregon Supreme Court erred in deciding Collins, and it therefore should be overruled. Farmers argued that the doctrine of stare decisis prohibited the Court from overruling Collins. However, the Court stated that the it will overrule stare decisis if a party can demonstrate that the Court failed to reach the correct decision because it was not presented with an important legal argument, or failed to apply a typical framework for a decision or adequately analyze the controlling issue. However, in this case the Court stated that the principles and analysis outlined in Collins remained good law and that Mowry presented no legal arguments not already discussed in Collins. Affirmed.