The Appellate Group

Halversen v. Allstate

Halversen v. Allstate, 2021 UT App 59 (Hagen, J.)

Civil Procedure

Halversen was injured in a car accident. Allstate, Halversen’s insurer, declined to pay the Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claim he submitted. Halversen arbitrated his claim. Within 20 days of receiving his award, Halversen requested a trial de novo. Allstate moved to dismiss based on subject matter jurisdiction under the plain language of Utah Code section 31A-22-305.3(8)(o). The district court denied Allstate’s motion, looking to the underlying policies of UIM statues in the face of a “hopelessly ambiguous statute.” After trial, Allstate appealed only the district court’s denial of its motion to dismiss. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The district court came to the correct conclusion for the wrong reason. The plain language of the statute is not ambiguous. All but one potential meaning is eliminated by context. Thus, under the statute’s plain language, either party may request a trial de novo for any reason within 20 days of service of the arbitration award.

Read the full court opinion