Oral arg. – Miss.S.Ct. – June 7, 2016

At 1:30, the Miss.S.Ct. will hear Amfed National Ins. Co. v. NTC Transportation.  

NTC provides non-emergency medical transportation.  It obtained workers compensation coverage through the Mississippi Assigned Risk Plan, with AmFed as its carrier.   On November 13, 2003, AmFed sent NTC a renewal notice, offering to renew the policy for another year if payment was received before the expiration date of January 19, 2004.  It later sent a second notice.  NTC did not pay until February 4, 2005.  According to NTC, it gave the check to its insurance agent on January 19, but the agent did not send it until February 3, so that it was received by AmFed on February 4, two weeks late.

In the interim, an NTC employee, Rhondy Mickle, suffered a work-related injury  on January 22, 2004.   Mickle’s workers compensation claims were settled  with AmFed and NTC agreeing to preserve the coverage issue for litigation.

In the coverage litigation in Hinds County Court, NTC was granted  partial summary judgment on its claim for breach of contract; court found that the parties had entered into a valid contract for coverage from January 19, 2004, which came into existence when AmFed deposited the premium check, and which contained the same terms and conditions as those outlined in the prior renewal notice.   A bench trial was held on NTC’s claims for damages and bad faith. In its final judgment, the trial court found against NTC on punitive damages, but not on NTC’s claim for attorney fees, which the trial court granted to NTC.  (The parties had stipulated conditionally that NTC’s damages were$65,440.30 on the underlying workers-compensation claim, $34,983.46 in reasonable attorney fees incurred pursuant to that claim, and $76,496.00 in reasonable attorney fees incurred by NTC in its suit against AmFed).  The Circuit Court, on appeal, affirmed.  AmFed appealed again.  AmFed argues that the court’s finding that the contract covered the two weeks was error; that it was not required to mail renewal notices via certified mail; and that venue in Hinds County was error.

AmFed’s brief

NTC’s brief

AmFed reply brief

Watch the argument here

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