The Insurability of Punitive Damages in Washington: Should Insureds Who Engage in Intentional Misconduct Reap the Benefit of Their "Bargains?"
This Note examines the issue of the insurability of punitive damages, concluding that insurance coverage should not be allowed for punitive damages arising from intentional misconduct because such coverage contravenes public policy in the state of Washington. Part I defines and provides background for punitive damages and malicious prosecution. Part II outlines and synthesizes the treatment of the insurability of punitive damages in various states. The facts of the Fluke case, including the Court of Appeals's rationale that insurance coverage for punitive damages is not against public policy in Washington, are detailed in Part III. The next section reveals the Court of Appeals's faulty reasoning, illuminating several reasons why Washington should prohibit insurance coverage for punitive damages arising out of intentional misconduct. Part V summarizes the Washington Supreme Court's decision affirming the appellate court on the issue of whether insuring punitive damages is against public policy in Washington. This Note concludes in Part VI that punitive damages assessed for intentional misconduct should not be insurable in Washington as a mat- ter of public policy and that the Washington Supreme Court should have reversed the appellate court on this issue.
Stephanie L. Grassia, The Insurability of Punitive Damages in Washington: Should Insureds Who Engage in Intentional Misconduct Reap the Benefit of Their "Bargains?", 26 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 627 (2003).