Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Curtis

These two consolidated cases involved a bond for which Hartford Fire Insurance Company (Hartford) was the surety. Each bond principal was sued, and both cases resulted in the entry of default judgments. Hartford was not given notice of either lawsuit against its principals or notice that default judgments were being sought. Hartford learned of the default judgments only after the plaintiffs in those cases sought payment on the bonds. In each case, Hartford ultimately was found liable on the bond. Hartford appealed, asserting that the circuit courts erred in finding the bonds to be judgment bonds and in holding Hartford liable on the bonds under the circumstances. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the two bonds at issue were judgment bonds, and therefore, the circuit courts correctly found that default judgments entered against the bond principals were conclusive and binding against Hartford. View "Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Curtis" on Justia Law