Refusal To Testify at Examination Under Oath
In Wilson v. Allstate Insurance Co., 785 F. 2d 311 (6th Cir. 1986), the Sixth Circuit allowed the insureds, at trial, to assert their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and to not produce their tax returns. However, the court also recognized that the insurer, to prove its defense of fraud, needed to cross-examine the insured and struck all of plaintiffs’ direct testimony. Since there was no evidence presented by the plaintiffs, the court properly granted judgment for Allstate. The privilege against self-incrimination exists, but it cannot be used as a weapon to prevent the insurer from defending itself.
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