South Dakota Supreme Court Makes Important Insurance Law Decision


In Schaefer v. Sioux Spine and Sport, Prof. LLC,  Kathy A. Schaefer filed an action against Nathan J. Flanders alleging negligence. The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Flanders on the basis of a release signed by Schaefer. Schaefer argued there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether her consent to the release was based on mistake and obtained by undue influence. She also argued there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the injury forming the basis for this negligence action was known at the time she signed the release.

In reversing the circuit court's decison, the South Dakota Supreme Court found that genuine questions existed as to whether the release signed by Schaefer was secured through the insurance company's under influence and whether some of Schaefer's injuries were known at the time she consented to the release.