Are violations admissible...?
Are violations of the Oklahoma Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act admissible in a bad faith claim independently, or through expert testimony, and available as a jury instruction? I recognize that there is no independent cause for such violations.
Answer: Because, as you accurately point out, there is no private right of action, you probably can’t introduce them independently. Historically, we have been able to have our expert use them as an industry standard and get them in that way. However, effective November 1, 2009, House Bill 1603 (The Civil Immunity for Lawbreakers Act) comes into effect. Section 19 of HB 1603 amends 12 O.S. Sec. 2703 to add the language: “Facts or data that are otherwise inadmissible shall not be disclosed to the jury by the proponent of the opinion or inference unless the court determines that their probative value in assisting the jury to evaluate the expert's opinion substantially outweighs their prejudicial effect.”
Posted on Wed, September 23, 2009
by Sharon Coleman