Alaska Supreme Court Finds Insurer Owes No Independent Duty to Injured Party

Construction worker injured on site

Attorney Tred R. Eyerly discusses Martinez v. Government Employees Ins. Co.

December 14, 2020
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

After the victim incurred injury inflicted by an insured party, the Alaska Supreme Court determined that the insurer owed no duty to the injured party. Martinez v. Government Employees Ins. Co., 2020 Alaska LEXIS 111 (Alaska Sept. 4, 2020).

Joshua Martinez lost control of his truck and crashed into Charles Burnett's cabin. The cabin's heating fuel tank was damaged, and fuel drained onto the property and under the cabin. Burnett further alleged he suffered bodily injuries.

Martinez was insured by GEICO under an auto policy. Two days after the accident, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) advised GEICO to hire a qualified environmental consultant and crew to clean up the fuel spill. Burnett told GEICO he wanted to do the cleanup himself and offered to do so for $25,000, the approximate amount of the consultant retained by GEICO. DEC did not consider Burnett qualified to handle the cleanup.

Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at


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