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Integon Preferred Insurance Co. v. Susana Isztojka

February 24, 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

FINAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: Now that you have heard all of the evidence and the arguments of the attorneys, it is my duty to instruct you on the law.

You have all received a copy of these instructions that you may take with you to the jury room to consult during 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.

During the course of the trial you have heard references to both GMAC and Integon. For the purposes of your deliberations, GMAC and Integon are the same party.

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 is solely the agent of the insured, in this case, Ms. Isztojka,

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 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. That is, Mr. Mangelli had the authority to act on behalf of Integon to the extent the words or conduct of Integon caused Mr. Mangelli to reasonably believe that he had the authority to act on behalf of Integon. This authority cannot be shown by the words of Mr. Mangelli alone.

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.

In the original complaint filed in this case, Integon affirmatively alleged that Mr. Mangelli was the agent of Integon. This allegation is not conclusive of, 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 considered in light of all other evidence tending to prove, or disprove, that Mr. Mangelli was the agent of Integon.

The court has decided to accept as true the following:

1. At all times between February 27, 1998, and January 31, 2008, Jeffrey Mangelli was licensed as a Fire and Casualty broker-agent.

2. That Mr. Mangelli had not been appointed as Integon's agent at any time. This means that Mr. Mangelli was not listed by the State of California Department of Insurance as an agent of Integon. This does not preclude the finding that Mr. Mangelli was an agent of Integon with the authority to act for Integon.

You must accept these facts as true. However, these facts are not conclusive of, but are evidence that Mr. Mangelli was, in fact, not acting as the agent of Integon in the transaction between Ms. Isztojka and Integon. These facts are to be given the same weight and effect, neither greater or lesser, as any other evidence, and is to be considered in light of ...


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