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Arkansas Supreme Courts Upholds UETA and E-Signatures

April 25th, 2011 No comments

In a very important case the validity of e-Signatures was once again reaffirmed in Barwick vs. GEICO. To learn more about the ruling and validity of Electronic Signatures on Contracts and Agreements please read below:

In a March 31, 2011 opinion, the Supreme Court of Arkansas affirmed the lower court’s granting of a summary judgment in favor of GEICO, upholding the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (“UETA”) and e-Signature that waived minimum medical coverage. After an auto accident the insured incurred medical expenses and the insured claimed that the electronic signature on the online wavier of medical coverage was not binding because the waiver was not “in writing” as required by the Arkansas Insurance Code.On April 12, 2010, appellant moved for summary judgment, contending that Ms. Barwick’s electronic signature on the application did not qualify as a written rejection of coverage as required by section 23-89-203. GEICO responded with its own motion for summary judgment, in which it argued that Arkansas Code Annotated section 25-32-107 (Repl. 2002) gives legal effect to electronic records, signatures, and contracts and that Ms. Barwick’s electronic signature on the form satisfied the “in writing” requirement of section 23-89-203. In support of its motion, GEICO submitted excerpts from Ms. Barwick’s deposition, and the “Arkansas Information and Option Form,” completed by Ms. Barwick online. The form indicated that she rejected both medical benefits and medical-payments coverage, and it bore an electronic signature of her name. In her deposition, Ms. Barwick acknowledged that she completed the form on the website and that she did not select coverage for medical benefits. She also testified that she signed the application electronically. Ms. Barwick stated, however, that she had not physically signed any written document provided by GEICO rejecting medical-benefits coverage.
After a hearing, and upon consideration of the parties’ briefs, the circuit court granted GEICO’s motion for summary judgment, ruling that the online rejection of coverage and electronic signature satisfied the statutory requirement for a rejection to be in writing under section 23-89-203. Appellant filed a timely appeal from the order of summary judgment entered on August 9, 2010. For complete Judicial View story:

 

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