LOCATION: U.S. Department of State
DOCKET NO.: 79-938
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: Minnesota Supreme Court
CITATION: 449 US 302 (1981)
ARGUED: Oct 06, 1980
DECIDED: Jan 13, 1981
Andreas F. Lowenfeld - on behalf of Respondents
Mark M. Nolan - on behalf of Petitioner
Facts of the case
Media for Allstate Ins. Company v. HagueAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 06, 1980 in Allstate Ins. Company v. Hague
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - January 13, 1981 in Allstate Ins. Company v. Hague
Warren E. Burger:
The judgment of the Court in Allstate Insurance Company against Hague State will be announced by Justice Brennan.
William J. Brennan, Jr.:
In this case, the Supreme Court of Minnesota applied Minnesota law to decide that the $15,000 uninsured motorist coverage on each of her late husband's three automobiles could be stacked to provide total coverage of $45,000 for her husband's death in a collision that occurred in the State of Wisconsin in which State the respondent and her husband lived at that time and where the policies were issued.
Wisconsin law, this allowed such stacking and would have limited to coverage to $15,000 but the Minnesota Supreme Court held that Minnesota law and not Wisconsin law provided the applicable law this upon the ground of its analysis of relevant Minnesota contacts and interests including the fact that the decedent commuted daily from his Wisconsin home to his job in Minnesota.
And we affirm the judgment of the Minnesota court.
We hold that neither the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or the full faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution bars the Minnesota Supreme Court's choice of substantive Minnesota law, in this case, to govern the effect that the relevant insurance contract provision.
Two opinions support that affirmance.
One is filed by me and is joined by Justice White, Justice Marshall and Justice Blackmun.
The other is filed by Justice Stevens, Justice Powell joined by the Chief Justice and Justice Rehnquist has filed a dissenting opinion. Justice Stewart took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you, Mr. Justice Brennan.