STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- Personal Property3 YearsIdaho Code § 5-218(2),(3)
- Personal Injury/Death2 YearsIdaho Code § 5-219(4)
- Breach of Contract/Written5 YearsIdaho Code § 5-216
- Breach of Contract/Oral4 YearsIdaho Code § 5-217
- Breach of Contract/Sale of Goods4 YearsIdaho Code § 28-2-725
- Statute of Repose/Products10 YearsIdaho Code § 6-1403(3)*
- Statute of Repose/Real Property6 YearsIdaho Code § 5-241**
- Breach of Warranty/ U.C.C./Personal Injury2 YearsIdaho Code § 5-219(4)
- Breach of Warranty/U.C.C./Property Damage4 YearsIdaho Code § 28-2-725(1)
- Workers’ Compensation2 YearsIdaho Code § 72-223
- Strict Product Liability2 YearsIdaho Code § 5-219
Statute of Limitations Exceptions
*10 Years or after product’s “useful safe life.” Idaho Code § 6-1403(3) (Rebuttable Presumption).
**6 Years from final completion of improvement to real property. Idaho Code § 5-241.
Contributory Negligence/Comparative Fault
Modified Comparative Fault: 50% Bar. Damaged party cannot recover if it is 50% or more at fault. If 49% or less at fault, it can recover, although its recovery is reduced by its degree of fault. Plaintiff may not recover if he is 50% or more at fault. Idaho Code § 6-801.
Med Pay/PIP Subrogation
Med Pay: Yes. Idaho Code § 41-2505; Rinehart v. Farm Bur. Mut. Ins. Co. of Idaho, 524 P.2d 1343 (Idaho 1974). The two year personal injury statute of limitations runs from date of insured’s accident. Idaho Code §5-219 (1998).
PIP: Coverage not applicable.
Automobile and Property: No applicable statute, Administrative Code provision or case law exists. Idaho’s Department of Insurance orally expresses a preference that the insured be reimbursed its deductible first – no statutory support requires this.
Made Whole Doctrine
There are no reported state court cases in which Idaho adopts the Made Whole Doctrine as it would be applicable to automobile insurance subrogation. The 9th Circuit has adopted the Made Whole Doctrine into federal common law as a default rule, but only as to ERISA health insurance subrogation. Barnes v. Indep. Auto Dealers Ass’n of Cal. H&W Benefit Plan, 64 F.3d 1389 (9th Cir. 1995). The Court in Barnes held that, unless the Plan language specifically disclaims the Made Whole Doctrine, a health Plan may not enforce its subrogation rights until the Plan beneficiary has recovered all of his damages and has been made whole.
Economic Loss Doctrine
Majority Rule. Absent accompanying personal injury or property damage to property other than the product, purely economic losses alone are not recoverable in tort. Duffin v. Idaho Crop Improvement Ass’n, 895 P.2d 1195 (Idaho 1995). An exception exists when there is a special relationship involved, such as professional or quasi-professional relationships, or there is “parasitic injury to person or property.” Id.
Idaho has avoided per se rules with regard to the “Sutton Rule” (see Oklahoma) and taken a more flexible case-by-case fire approach, holding that a tenant’s liability to the landlord’s insurer for negligently causing a fire depends on the intent and reasonable expectations of the parties to the lease as ascertained from the lease as a whole. Bannock Bldg. Co. v. Sahlberg, 887 P.2d 1052 (Idaho 1994).
Tort of Spoliation: For many years, Idaho courts had discussed this tort but never formally recognized it. In Yoakum v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 129 Idaho 171, 177-178, 923 P.2d 416, 422-423 (Idaho 1996), the court found that assuming Idaho law would recognize the tort of spoliation, it would require the willful destruction or concealment of evidence. In this particular case, the court found that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated that the defendants destroyed any evidence which would justify holding them liable for this tort. On October 18, 2019, however, the Idaho Supreme Court finally adopted Third-Party Spoliation as an independent tort. In Raymond v. Idaho State Police, 451 P.3d 17 (Idaho 2019), the court adopted the tort of Intentional Interference with A Prospective Civil Action By Spoliation of Evidence by a Third Party (Third-Party Spoliation). This now allows an action for spoliation damages against third parties who are not part of the underlying civil lawsuit. In Raymond v. Idaho State Police, Raymond was killed in a car accident when a sheriff deputy passed him in the left lane as he was making a lawful left turn. Criminal charges were brought and Raymond’s family sued the State Police. The state covered up and destroyed evidence that the office was under the influence at the time, and the court for the first time recognized a tort of intentional interference with a prospective civil action by spoliation of evidence by a third party. The Supreme Court established the elements a plaintiff must prove to establish this new cause of action:
- a pending or probable lawsuit involving the plaintiff;
- the defendant’s knowledge of the potential or probable lawsuit;
- the wrongful destruction, mutilation, alteration, or concealment of evidence by the defendant designed to disrupt or defeat the potential lawsuit;
- disruption of the potential lawsuit;
- a causal relationship between the act of spoliation and the disruption to the lawsuit; and
- (6) damages proximately caused by defendant’s acts.
Evidentiary Rules/Sanctions: Idaho courts have recognized the spoliation doctrine as a form of admission by conduct. “By resorting to wrongful devices, the party is said to provide a basis for believing that he or she thinks the case is weak and not to be won by fair means…Accordingly, the following are considered under this general category of admissions by conduct:…destruction or concealment of relevant documents or objects.” Courtney v. Big O Tires, Inc., 139 Idaho 821, 824, 87 P.3d 930, 933 (Idaho 2003), citing McCormick On Evidence, 4th Ed. § 265, pp. 189-94 (1992) As an admission, the spoliation doctrine only applies to the party connected to the loss or destruction of the evidence. “Acts of a third person must be connected to the party, or in the case of a corporation to one of its superior officers, by showing that an officer did the act or authorized it by words or other conduct. Furthermore, the merely negligent loss or destruction of evidence is not sufficient to invoke the spoliation doctrine. Moreover, the circumstances of the act must manifest bad faith. Mere negligence is not enough, for it does not sustain the inference of consciousness of a weak case.” Id.
There may certainly be circumstances where a party’s willful, intentional, and unjustifiable destruction of evidence that the party knows is material to pending or reasonably foreseeable litigation may so prejudice an opposing party that sanctions such as those listed in Rule 37(b) of the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure are appropriate. Id.
Willful Misconduct. Parents liable for willful economic loss (property damage, theft, medical expenses, lost wages) caused by child. Idaho Code § 6-210.
Minor’s Driving. Joint and several liability will be imposed on the person signing the application for minor’s driver’s license. Smith v. Sharp, 375 P.2d 184 (1962).
Child must be under 18-years-old. The limits of liability are $2,500.00.
Modified Joint and Several Liability. Joint and several only for vicarious liability and defendants acting in concert. Idaho Code § 6-803.
Contribution plaintiff is entitled to contribution from a tortfeasor whose liability was extinguished by the settlement, either in main action or separate action. Idaho Code § 6-803 (1971); Horner v. Sani-Top, Inc., 141 P.3d 1099 (Idaho 2006).
The statute of limitations is three (3) years. Idaho Code § 6-803; Porter v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Idaho, 627 P.2d 311 (Idaho 1981).
Suspension of Drivers' Licenses
Administrative Suspension: Driving without insurance can form basis of suspension of driver’s license. It is a criminal process. Idaho Code § 49-1232; State v. Bedard, 120 Idaho 869, 820 P.2d 1226 (1991). Proof of financial responsibility is required to reinstate license that has been suspended, and proof of financial responsibility may be shown by certification of motor vehicle liability in place for vehicle. Idaho Code § 49-1210.
Judgment: If the driver does not respond, the Department will issue an “Order of Suspension” which will suspend the driver’s license and driving privileges. If a judgment issued is not satisfied, a driver’s license can be suspended. Idaho Code § 49-326. Suspension will continue until the judgment is satisfied and proof of financial responsibility is given. Idaho Code § 49-1205.
Contact Information: State of Idaho, Idaho Transportation Dept., Idaho Div. of Motor Vehicles, 3311 W. State Street, P.O. Box 7129, Boise, ID 83707-1129, (208) 334-8000, http://itd.idaho.gov/itddmv/.
Prohibits Broad Indemnity. Applies to Construction Contracts or Agreements. Idaho Rev. Stat. § 29-114.
Did not affect contracts enacted prior to statute effective date in 1971.
Diminution of Value
First Party: Idaho courts have addressed diminution by speaking to the requirement, in a suit against a title company, to show some diminution in value of the real property. Boel v. Stewart Title Guaranty Co., 43 P.3d 768 (Idaho 2002).
Third Party: No court decisions regarding recovery allowed for diminution in value of a damaged vehicle in a third-party claim.
One-Party Consent: An individual has the right to record or disclose the contents of an electronic, oral or wire communication that they are a party to or if one of the parties has given prior consent to the recording of said communications. Idaho Code Ann. § 18-6702(2)(d).
According to Idaho statute, a court can order a defendant determined guilty of a crime which results in an economic loss to the victim to make restitution to that victim. Restitution can be ordered for any economic loss, and the existence of an insurance policy providing coverage for the victim’s loss won’t eliminate the defendant’s obligation to pay restitution.
Idaho statute defines a “victim” who could receive restitution as someone “directly injured,” a health care provider who provides medical treatment to such a victim, or a person or entity “who suffers economic loss because such person or entity has made payments to or on behalf of a directly injured victim pursuant to a contract including, but not limited to, an insurance contract…” Idaho Code Ann. § 19-5304 (West).
Health and Disability Insurance
Statute of Limitations: 2 Years. Idaho Code § 5-219(4).
Subrogation of Medical and Disability Benefits are allowed. Smith v. USAA Property & Cas. Ins., 974 P.2d 1095 (Idaho 1999). Made-Whole does not apply. Common Fund applies. Seineger Law Office, P.A. v. North Am. Ins. Co., 178 P.3d 606 (Idaho 2008).
Funeral Procession Traffic Laws
Idaho law defines a funeral procession as two or more vehicles accompanying the body of a dead person in the daytime. Funeral processions have the right-of-way at intersections regardless of traffic control devices. The funeral escort vehicle may (1) direct the other vehicles in the procession to proceed through an intersection or to make any other movements or turns, regardless of any traffic control device, and (2) exceed the speed limit by up to 15 miles per hour when overtaking the procession to direct traffic at the next intersection. Processions must yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles or when directed by a police officer. The law also provides that whenever the funeral escort vehicle enters an intersection, the other vehicles can follow without regard to any traffic control device, provided they exercise reasonable care. Idaho Code § 49-2701.
Statute of Limitations: 2 Years. Idaho Code § 72-223.
Can Carrier Sue Third Party Directly: Yes.
Recovery from UM/UIM Benefits: Undecided.
Subrogation Against Medical Malpractice: Yes.
Subrogation Against Legal Malpractice: Undecided.
Recovery Allocation/Equitable Limitations: The carrier gets first money; dollar-for-dollar.
Employer Contribution/Negligence: No subrogation when the employer is comparatively negligent.
Attorney’s Fees/Costs: Apportionment is based on the activity of each party.
Future Credit: Yes, the carrier is reimbursed attorney’s fees on each payment.
Auto No-Fault: No.
Dog Bite Laws
Dog owner will be liable if they were negligent or had knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensities. Idaho Code § 25-2805.
Employee Leasing Laws
Similar to Georgia, if either the employee leasing company or its client provides workers’ compensation coverage to the employee, both entities are protected under the Exclusive Remedy Rule. Idaho Code § 72-103.
Condominium Waiver of Subrogation Laws
No language barring condo associations’ right to subrogation. Idaho Code § 55-1517.
Automobile Total Loss Thresholds
Total Loss Formula (See here for definition).
Cost of parts and labor minus the salvage value makes it uneconomical to repair or rebuild. Idaho Code § 49-123(2)(o).
Sudden Medical Emergencies While Driving
Sudden Emergency Defense Discouraged. If a jury instruction on sudden emergency can be adequately covered by general negligence instructions which take into account the sudden emergency which confronted the defendant, a sudden emergency instruction should not be given. Bills v. Busco, 97 Idaho 182, 185, 541 P.2d 606, 609 (1975).
The court recognizes certain circumstances which furnish an excuse or justification for the negligence. These include (1) anything that would make compliance with a statute impossible; (2) anything over which the driver has no control which places his car in a position violative of a statute; (3) an emergency not of the driver’s own making by reason of which he fails to obey a statute; and (4) an excuse specifically provided by statute. However, no cases involve a sudden medical emergency. Bale v. Perryman, 380 P.2d 501 (Idaho 1963).
State Sovereign Immunity And Tort Liability
Tort Claims Act: Idaho Tort Claims Act.
Every governmental entity is subject to liability arising out of its negligent or otherwise wrongful acts or omissions and those of its employees acting within the scope of employment to the same extent a private person would be liable. Idaho Code § 6-903 (1976).
Notice Deadlines: Tort claims against the State shall be filed with the Secretary of State within 180 days from when the claim arose and action must commence within two years. Idaho Code §§ 6-905 and 6-911.
Claims/Actions Allowed: A governmental entity will be held liable for the negligence of their employees while driving a motor vehicle as long as the employee was driving while in the scope of their employment and no exceptions apply. Teurlings v. Larson, 156 Idaho 65, 320 P.3d 1224 (2014).
Comments/Exceptions: Idaho and its employees while acting within the scope of their employment and without malice shall not be liable for:
(1) An act or omission in the execution of a statute or a discretionary duty;
(2) Any claim arising out of assault, battery, misrepresentation, false imprisonment; and
(3) Arises out of the collection of any tax or fee.
See Idaho Code § 6-904; § 6-904 (a); and § 6-904 (b) for other specific exceptions.
Damage Caps: Idaho shall not be liable for damages from a single occurrence exceeding $500,000. This limit does not apply if the State has purchased liability insurance in excess or if the action is caused by willful or reckless conduct. Idaho Code § 6-926. No punitive damages against the State. Idaho Code § 6-918.
Recovery of Sales Tax After Vehicle Total Loss
First-Party Claims: No applicable statute, case law, or regulation governing recovery of sales tax. However, Idaho Department of Insurance’s website states that an insured can recover sales tax, title fees, and release of liability fees. http://www.doi.idaho.gov/consumer/claim_faq.aspx
Third-Party Claims: No applicable statute, case law, or regulation governing recovery of sales tax. A claim against an insurer for breach of duty of good faith is only available to first-party insured parties. Idaho State Ins. Fund v. Van Tine, 132 Idaho 902, 908, 980 P.2d 566, 572 (1999).
Damage to Property Without Market Value
Service Value: No Case Law
Intrinsic Value: “Where personal property, which is injured or destroyed by the wilful (sic) or negligent act of another, has no market value, its value to the owner may be used as a basis for determining damages.” Zenier v. Spokane Intern. R. Co., 300 P.2d 494 (Idaho 1956).
Sentimental Value: “…such property should be appraised according to the actual worth of the articles to the owner, for use in the condition in which they were at the time of the fire, excluding any fanciful or sentimental consideration.” Boise Ass’n of Credit Men v. U.S. Fire Ins. Co., 256 P. 523 (Idaho 1927).
Municipal/County/Local Governmental Immunity and Tort Liability
Idaho Tort Claims Act: Every “governmental entity” (including “political subdivisions” such as counties, cities, municipal corporations, school districts, etc.) is liable for its employees’ negligent acts within the scope of employment to the same extent a private person would be. Idaho Code § 6-903 (1976).
Notice Deadlines: Notice of Claim against “political subdivision” must be filed with the clerk or secretary within 180 days and action must commence within two (2) years. Idaho Code §§ 6-909 and 6-911. For county, suit must be filed within six (6) months after first rejection of claim. Idaho Code §§ 5-221.
Claims/Actions Allowed: A governmental entity will be held liable for the negligence of their employees while driving a motor vehicle as long as the employee was driving while in the scope of their employment and no exceptions apply. Teurlings v. Larson, 156 Idaho 65, 320 P.3d 1224 (2014). “Governmental entity” means and includes the state and political subdivisions as herein defined. Idaho Code § 6-903(2).
Comments/Exceptions: Idaho’s “political subdivisions” and their employees while acting within the scope of their employment and without malice shall not be liable for: (1) An act or omission in the execution of a statute or a discretionary duty; (2) Any claim arising out of assault, battery, misrepresentation, false imprisonment; and (3) Arises out of the collection of any tax or fee. See Idaho Code § 6-904; § 6-904 (a); and § 6-904 (b) for other specific exceptions.
Damage Caps: “Political subdivision” not liable for damages from a single occurrence exceeding $500,000. This limit does not apply if the political subdivision has purchased liability insurance in excess or if the action is caused by willful or reckless conduct. Idaho Code § 6-926. No punitive damages against “political subdivision.” Idaho Code § 6-918.
Laws Regarding using Cell Phones/Headphones/Texting While Driving
Cell Phone/Texting: No driver may operate a hand-held wireless device and send, read, or compose text messages while driving a motor vehicle. Idaho Code § 49-1401A.
Other Prohibitions: No Applicable Laws.
Workers’ Compensation Claims by Undocumented Employees
Statute: “Illegal alien” must be lawfully admitted for permanent residence and permanently resides in the U.S. Idaho Code Ann § 72-1366(19)(a).
Case Law: Undecided.
Admissibility of Expert Testimony
Admissibility Standards: Daubert
Case/Statutory Law: State v. Merwin, 962 P.2d 1026 (Idaho 1998).
Imputing Contributory Negligence of Driver to Vehicle Owner
Imputed Contributory Negligence Law: Negligence of the operator is imputed to the owner, via § 49-2417 [then § 49-1404] in all actions by or against third persons for civil damages. Bush v. Oliver, 386 P.2d 967 (Idaho 1963).
Negligence of driver is not imputed to owner/passenger unless there was joint enterprise. Gardner v. Hobbs, 206 P.2d 539 (Idaho 1949).
Vicarious Liability/Family Purpose Doctrine: No Family Purpose Doctrine.
The owner of a vehicle is automatically liable for the negligence of any permissive driver of that vehicle, up to the minimum limits of insurance required in Idaho. Idaho Code § 49-2417.
Sponsor Liability for Minor’s Driving: Idaho Code Ann. § 49-310(3): Any negligence or willful misconduct of the minor when driving a motor vehicle shall be imputed to the person who signed the application unless the minor has proof of financial responsibility as required under Idaho’s motor vehicle financial responsibility law (unless liability insurance is maintained on behalf of the minor).
Product Liability Law
Statute of Limitations/Repose: 2 years for personal injury and wrongful death. Idaho Code § 6-1403(3). Statute of Repose is 10 years. Idaho Code § 6-1403(2).
Liability Standards: Negligence, Strict Liability, Warranty.
Fault Allocations: Modified Comparative. Idaho Code § 6-1404.
Non-Economic Caps/Limits On Actual Damages: Non-Economic Cap.
Punitive Y/N and Limits: Yes (Limits).
Heeding Presumption?: Limited.
Innocent Seller Statute: Yes. Idaho Code § 6-1407.
Joint and Several Liability: No. Idaho Code § 6-803.
Available Defenses: Assumption of Risk; Misuse; Alteration; Learned Intermediary; Inherently Unsafe Products; State of the Art; Presumption; Alcohol/Drugs; Seatbelts; Sophisticated User.
Restatement 2nd or 3rd?: Restatement 2nd.
Owner Liability For Stolen Vehicles
Key In The Ignition Statutes: Idaho Code § 49-602.
Common Law Rule: A vehicle owner is not liable for injuries to a third party caused by a thief driving negligently. The thief’s negligent operation of the vehicle is an intervening force constituting a superseding cause. Gamble v. Kinch, 629 P.2d 1168 (1981).
An insurer cannot subrogate against an alleged wrongdoer who is an insured under the policy. Pendlebury v. W. Cas. & Sur. Co., 406 P.2d 129 (Idaho 1965).
Use of Non-Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Aftermarket Crash Parts in Repair of Damaged Vehicles
Authority: Idaho Code § 41-1328A-D.
Summary: Any non-OEM parts that are used must be marked with the name or logo of their manufacturer and the name and/or logo must visible after installation whenever practical. The insured must be given a written estimate that states that non-OEM parts will be used and what parts will be used must be identified specifically. Lastly, the estimate must have a disclosure attached that informs the customer that the manufacturer/distributor of the non-OEM parts has warranted them, not the vehicle manufacturer.