The big case “Prudential v Stewart” appears to be running out of options after today’s hand down list from the Mississippi Supreme Court. The first verdict was $1,400,000 in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages and was shot down. Today the Court dismissed his third motion for rehearing finding it “is prohibited by the rules and is frivolous. The Court further finds that this motion for rehearing filed by counsel for the appellees contains language showing disrespect for this Court.”
The Prudential Insurance Company of America and Pruco Life Insurance Company v. Patty Stewart, Sally Stewart Hester, Giles Stewart, Larry Stewart, Individually, as Co-Executors of the Estate of Edsel Stewart; and Larry Stewart and Giles Stewart as Co-Trustees of the Stewart Family Life Insurance Trust; Hinds Circuit Court 1st District; LC Case #: 251-02-1269-CIV; Ruling Date: 02/28/2006; Ruling Judge: Winston Kidd; Disposition: Third motion for rehearing on the merits filed by counsel for appellees is dismissed as not properly before this Court. Rule 40(a) of the Mississippi Rules of Appellate Procedure clearly states that “[a]fter a motion for rehearing has been denied, no further motion for rehearing shall be filed by any party.” This Court finds that appellees’ third motion for rehearing is prohibited by the rules and is frivolous. The Court further finds that this motion for rehearing filed by counsel for the appellees contains language showing disrespect for this Court. Pursuant to Rule 40(c) of the Mississippi Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Court finds that this motion for rehearing should be stricken. The motion for rehearing filed by counsel for appellees is hereby stricken. Graves, P.J., does not join the order because he is of the opinion that the motion for rehearing should not be stricken. Kitchens and Pierce, JJ., not participating. Order entered.
The Mississippi Supreme Court first overturned a 2006 Hinds County Circuit Court jury award back in October 2007 and Alex Alston has been fighting on appeal since. In the case, the Stewart family was in the process of obtaining life insurance for Mr. Stewart. During the process, Mr. Stewart had a stroke and the family continued correspondence with the insurance company without informing of the change in his condition. Before final delivery of the insurance policy, the company discovered his status and refused execution on the policy. At the time of his death, the parties had not agreed on new terms for the policy that made allowances for his changed condition. The Supreme Court concluded that the applicant, Mr. Stewart, was unable to accept or negotiate the insurance company’s counteroffer policy, and that no contract for insurance was ever formed.