Once the limit of an insurer’s liability is determined and paid into court, the insurer can be dismissed from the action and the right to appeal the coverage determination survives.
“The parties’ stipulation represents a settlement of the damage portion of the appellants’ claim against Tokio Marine. Lassa v. Rongstad, 2006 WI 105, ¶34, 294 Wis. 2d 187, 718 N.W.2d 673, recognizes that ‘parties sometimes settle issues in a controversy … such that the only question or questions remaining are ripe for appeal.’ The parties have settled the issue of damages and the question of coverage and limits of liability are ripe for appeal. Nothing further needed to be litigated to terminate the litigation between the parties to the appeal. There are no manufactured issues. See id., ¶35. We conclude that no party waived the right to appeal by stipulating to Tokio Marine’s dismissal from the action. See Pierce v. Physicians Ins. Co. of Wis., Inc., 2005 WI 14, ¶33, 278 Wis. 2d 82, 692 N.W.2d 558 (a stipulation to dismiss all remaining causes of action did not preclude an appeal of the circuit court’s ruling that there was no cause of action for emotional distress).”
Recommended for publication in the official reports.
2011AP454 Brown v. Kuester
Dist. II, Kenosha County, Wilk, J., Per Curiam.
Attorneys: For Appellant: DuMez, Robert I., Kenosha; For Respondent: Fertl, Jeffrey S., Milwaukee; Lauritch, Melissa J., Milwaukee