District Court, Salt Lake Department The Honorable Royal I.
Hansen No. 150906577
F. Bertch, Attorney for Appellant
D. Wright and Jennifer R. Carrizal, Attorneys for Appellee
Michele M. Christiansen authored this Opinion, in which
Judges Gregory K. Orme and Kate A. Toomey concurred.
Appellant Fabiola Carmona appeals from the district
court's grant of Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of
America's (Travelers) motion to dismiss. We affirm.
Carmona sued Badger Creek Associates LLC (Badger Creek) for
personal injuries she sustained when she slipped and fell on
ice in a common stairway at the Badger Creek Apartments in
Salt Lake City.
Badger Creek carried liability insurance through Travelers.
The insurance policy included an indemnity provision (the
Coverage C provision), which stated that Travelers would
"pay medical expenses" up to $5, 000 "for
'bodily injury' caused by an accident" on Badger
Creek's premises and that it would "make these
payments regardless of fault." This provision explicitly
excluded payments to "any insured."
When Carmona learned of this provision, she moved to amend
her complaint to add Travelers as an additional defendant. In
her proposed amended complaint, Carmona alleged that
"Travelers owed [her] a contractual duty to pay medical
bills" for her injuries, that Travelers knew about her
injuries and had "failed to disclose the coverage to
[her]," and that Travelers had "failed to pay those
[medical] bills, without justification." The district
court found that Carmona's motion to amend was futile and
denied the motion. Specifically, the court determined that
"Utah case law is clear regarding parties
seeking to sue a tortfeasor's insurer" and that
"'a plaintiff must direct his action
against the actual tortfeasor, not the [tortfeasor's]
insurer.'" (Alteration in original) (quoting
Campbell v. Stagg, 596 P.2d 1037, 1039 (Utah 1979)).
Thereafter, Carmona filed a second lawsuit against Travelers
alone. Carmona claimed that, because she suffered
bodily injury as a result of the accident on Badger
Creek's premises, she was "a third-party or intended
beneficiary" under the Coverage C provision. According
to Carmona, "Travelers owed [her] a contractual duty to
pay medical bills" for her injuries, and "Travelers
had refused to investigate and/or pay the claim."
Carmona also asserted that Travelers had breached the
Coverage C provision and the implied covenant of good faith
and fair dealing "by failing to investigate or pay the
Travelers moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon
which relief could be granted, see Utah R. Civ. P.
12(b)(6), arguing that Carmona's claims were barred by
res judicata and that Carmona lacked standing to pursue
claims for breach of contract and breach of the implied
covenant of good faith and fair dealing because she was not a
party to the insurance contract. The district court granted
Travelers' motion, finding that Carmona "is not an
intended third-party beneficiary to the insurance contract
between Travelers and Badger Creek." The court stated
that "there is no statute and nothing about the
insurance contract that would give [Carmona] privity of
contract and standing to sue Travelers directly." In
addition, the court granted Travelers' motion on res
judicata grounds, finding that "the elements of claim
preclusion and issue preclusion have been met in this
Carmona now appeals from the district court's grant of