Gerth v. American Star Ins. Co

In Gerth v. American Star Ins. Co., 166 Wis. 2d 1000, 1008, 480 N.W.2d 836 (Ct. App. 1992), the defendant failed to timely answer a complaint, and we upheld the trial court's determination that the defendant had failed to show excusable neglect. Gerth, 166 Wis. 2d at 1003, 1005. After the defendant was served in Wisconsin, it took nineteen days to transfer the documents to its California office. Gerth, 166 Wis. 2d at 1004, 1008. The defendant's answer was due the day after the documents arrived in California, and the defendant missed the deadline. Id. at 1005. The defendant made two assertions in support of its position that its failure to timely answer was excusable. First, it asserted that the transfer of the documents from one jurisdiction to another required extra time. Id. at 1007. Second, it asserted that the documents were addressed to the attention of the wrong person. Id. The Court concluded that these bare assertions were "in effect, no explanation." Id. at 1008.