Verdict against insurance agent is upheld
GHD Operating, LLC, sought to insure its plant against fire and casualty and retained the Emerson Prew Agency to help it. An employee of Emerson issued a certificate of property insurance through St. Paul, but failed to actually confirm the coverage. GHD was belatedly made aware of the lack of coverage, but before it could secure a substitute policy, the factory burned to the ground. A jury found Emerson responsible for the loss, but attributed 40 percent negligence to GHD. The Court upheld the jury's verdict over repeated motions and appeals by the Emerson Agency, confirming that Emerson's negligence in securing coverage or notifying GHD of the lack of coverage, was a proximate cause of the uninsured loss suffered by GHD.