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Integon Preferred Insurance v. Susana Isztojka

February 22, 2011

INTEGON PREFERRED INSURANCE CO.
PLAINTIFF,
v.
SUSANA ISZTOJKA, D/B/A CALIFORNIA GOLD STAR HAULING, DEFENDANT. FRANCESCA EISENBRANDT; CONNIE EISENBRANDT; AND SCOTT EISENBRANDT, INTERVENORS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Timothy M. Burgess United States District Judge

PRELIMINARY JURY INSTRUCTIONS

JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 1

Ladies and gentlemen: You are now the jury in this case. It is my duty to instruct you on the law.

These instructions are preliminary instructions to help you understand the principles that apply to civil trials and to help you understand the evidence as you listen to it. You will be allowed to keep this set throughout the trial to which to refer. This set of instructions is not to be taken home and must remain in the jury room when you leave in the evenings. At the end of the trial, I will give you a final set of instructions. It is the final set of instructions which will govern your deliberations.

You must not infer from these instructions or from anything I may say or do as indicating that I have an opinion regarding the evidence or what your verdict should be.

It is your duty to find the facts from all the evidence in the case. To those facts you will apply the law as I give it to you. You must follow the law as I give it to you whether you agree with it or not. And you must not be influenced by any personal likes or dislikes, opinions, prejudices, or sympathy. That means that you must decide the case solely on the evidence before you. You will recall that you took an oath to do so.

In following my instructions, you must follow all of them and not single out some and ignore others; they are all important.

JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 2

To help you follow the evidence, I will give you a brief summary of the positions of the parties:

This lawsuit arises out of a motor vehicle accident involving a vehicle driven by Ian Isztojka, owned by Susana Isztojka, doing business as California Gold Star Hauling. Scott Eisenbrandt, Jr. was killed in that accident. Francesca Eisenbrandt, Connie Eisenbrandt, and Scott Eisenbrandt, Sr., the survivors of the decedent, obtained a judgment against Ms. Isztojka in the California state courts for the wrongful death of Scott Eisenbrandt, Jr. At the time of the accident, Ms. Isztojka was the insured under a motor vehicle insurance policy issued by Integon Preferred Insurance Company. The Eisenbrandt's seek to satisfy the judgment against Ms. Isztojka from Integon under that insurance policy. Ms. Isztojka is no longer a party to this lawsuit. You are not to be concerned with, or speculate as to, the reason that Ms. Isztojka is no longer a party

Integon contends that in her application for insurance, Ms. Isztojka failed to list her son, Ian Isztojka, as a driver of the vehicle sought to be insured, and that it was never informed that Ian Isztojka would be driving the vehicle to be insured.

The Eisenbrandt's contend that Ms. Isztojka was informed by Mr. Mangelli, as the agent of Integon, that Ian Isztojka had been added to the policy prior to the accident.

JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 3

The Eisenbrandts claim that Jeffrey Mangelli was Integon's agent and that Integon is therefore bound by the information provided to Mr. Mangelli by Ms. Isztojka. Integon contends that, as an insurance broker, Mr. Mangelli was acting solely as the agent of the insured, in this case, Ms. Isztojka.

The Eisenbrandt's contend that Mr. Mangelli was the agent of Integon for the purpose of:

(1) investigating the insurability of Susana Isztojka; and

(2) adding Ian Isztojka to the policy as a driver.

Ordinarily, an insurance broker is the agent of the insured and not the insurance company. In some circumstances, an individual can be the agent of both the insured and the insurance company.

If the Eisenbrandts prove that Integon gave Mr. Mangelli the authority or apparent authority to act on behalf of Integon, then Jeffrey Mangelli was Integon's agent to the extent that Integon gave Mr. Mangelli that authority.

This authority may be shown by words or may be implied by the parties' conduct. This authority cannot be shown by the words of Mr. Mangelli alone.

JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 4 "

Insurance Broker" means a person who, for compensation and on behalf of another person, transacts insurance other than life, disability, or health with, but not on behalf of, an insurer.

Under California law, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, an insurance broker is presumed to be the agent of the insured, not the insurer.

JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 5

In the original complaint filed in this case, Integon affirmatively alleged that Mr. Mangelli was the agent of Integon. This allegation is not conclusive, but is evidence that Mr. Mangelli was, in fact, acting as the agent of Integon in the transaction between Ms. Isztojka and Integon. This allegation is to be given the same weight and effect, neither greater or lesser, as any other evidence, and is to be consider in light of all other evidence tending to prove, or disprove, that Mr. Mangelli was the agent of Integon.

JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 6

The court has decided to accept as fact the ...


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