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Griggs v. Bertram

New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division


Decided: September 23, 1980.

CLINTON GRIGGS, AN INFANT BY HIS GUARDIAN AD LITEM, SUMNER GRIGGS AND SUMNER GRIGGS, INDIVIDUALLY, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WILLIAM BERTRAM ET AL., DEFENDANT AND THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT, V. THE FRANKLIN MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, whose opinion is reported at 163 N.J. Super. 87 (1978).

Fritz, Polow and Joelson.

Per Curiam

[175 NJSuper Page 502]

The facts, essentially undisputed, appear in the published opinion of the trial judge, 163 N.J. Super. 87, 394 A.2d 174 (Law Div. 1978). We affirm.

No bad faith on the part of the settling parties appears, despite the unique nature of the arrangement. The disclaiming insurance company, appellant here, did not demonstrate that the settlement was unreasonable. Indeed, rather it asks us to impose on the settling parties the burden of proof with respect to the reasonableness of the settlement despite the fact of the company's belated disclaimer. We decline thus to burden a disappointed insured with that which amounts to a presumption

[175 NJSuper Page 503]

of unreasonableness at the behest of an insurance company which voluntarily removed itself from the fray.

In the circumstances of this particular case we affirm substantially for the reasons set forth by Judge Hamlin.

19800923


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