Decision Stands: Proposition 103 Approved Insurance Rates Cannot be Attacked in a Civil Action

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California Supreme Court Rejects Requests to Depublish MacKay

On October 6, 2010, Division Three of the Second Appellate District issued a landmark decision in MacKay v. Superior Court, 188 Cal. App. 4th 1427 (2010), declaring that approved insurance rates subject to Proposition 103 cannot thereafter be collaterally attacked in a civil action.

In brief, MacKay was a certified Unfair Competition Law (UCL) class action involving more than 500,000 class members who contended that 21st Century Insurance Company had used two illegal “rating factors” in developing automobile insurance premiums. The two factors had been included in rate and class plan filings approved on multiple occasions by the Insurance Commissioner.

The issue, as the Court explained, was:

whether the approval of a rating factor by the DOI [Department of Insurance] precludes a civil action against the insurer challenging the use of that rating factor.” MacKay, supra at 1434.

In a detailed opinion, authored by Justice H. Walter Croskey, the Court concluded that approval did preclude a collateral attack in a civil action.

This decision is of critical importance to insurers and consumers subject to rate approval pursuant to Proposition 103.

Prior to MacKay, it was not clear whether approval precluded civil actions. As a result, many insurers were sued, virtually always in class actions, by parties challenging approved rates on one basis or another.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, Civil Remedies Updates, Consumer Protection Updates, Insurance Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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