Oral Arguments before the Hawai`i Supreme Court
NO. 27893 – Thursday, June 5, 2008 – 11:00 a.m.
BANG JA GUAJARDO and RICHARD GUAJARDO, Petitioners/Plaintiffs-Appellants, Cross-Appellees, vs. AIG HAWAI’I INSURANCE COMPANY, INC.,
Attorney(s) for Petitioners/Plaintiffs-Appellants, Cross-Appellee(s)
Ian L. Mattoch and Daniel P. Kirley
Attorney(s) for Respondents/Defendants-Appellees, Cross-Appellant(s)
Jonathan H Steiner and Rolf J. Seibert (McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon)
COURT: RTYM, CJ; SHL, PAN, SRA & JED, JJ
The plaintiffs Bang Ja Guajardo and Richard Guajardo (collectively, the Guajardos) filed a complaint in the first circuit court against defendant AIG Hawaii Insurance Company (AIG) for (1) a judgment declaring that AIG had an obligation to provide them with underinsured motorist benefits under their policy, (2) tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and (3) punitive damages stemming from AIG’s alleged bad faith. The Guajardos filed a motion for partial summary judgment as to the claim for declaratory relief, while AIG filed a motion for partial summary judgment as to the Guajardos’ bad faith and punitive damages claims. The circuit court granted both motions, and entered a final judgment.
The Guajardos filed a notice of appeal and, in their opening brief, asserted that the circuit court erred in granting AIG’s motion for partial summary judgment. The Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) affirmed the amended final judgment of the circuit court by summary disposition order. The Guajardos filed an application for a writ of certiorari on February 11, 2008, and this court accepted the application on March 19, 2008.
The Guajardos contend that the ICA gravely erred in concluding (1) that AIG did not unequivocally deny the Guajardos’ request for consent to their settlement with the person who injured Mrs. Guajardo, (2) that the circuit court correctly ruled that AIG did not misrepresent the terms of its insurance policy to the Guajardos, (3) that, even if AIG misrepresented the terms of the policy, the misrepresentation did not prejudice the Guajardos, (4) that AIG was not subject to a duty to conduct an independent investigation into the assets of the person who injured Mrs. Guajardo, (5) that the circuit court correctly granted summary judgment in favor of AIG, and (6) that the circuit court correctly declined to grant the Guajardos’ request to conduct further discovery.