Summary Judgment for Agent Because Plaintiff Had No Expert Testimony Proving Breach of Fiduciary Duty

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Alabassi sued TIB, alleging that TIB failed to meet its standard of care in (1) providing him with adequate insurance coverage and (2) preparing and submitting his insurance application. The district court granted summary judgment because Alabassi failed to present expert testimony establishing that TIB breached its duty of care. In Omar Alabassi v. T.I.B. Insurance Brokers, Inc., The Tenth Circuit (September 17, 2020) the Tenth Circuit was asked to rule an expert was not necessary.


As a person who testifies occasionally the decision of the Tenth Circuit makes reasonable sense. To try to hold an insurance agent liable for the failure to advise about the proper limits to acquire from an insurer and which type of limits to acquire, it should always be necessary to call an expert witness to explain the custom and practice of insurance agents in the state and explain why, or why not, the agent breached the duty of care to the damage of the insured.