TAMPA, Fla. — An insured failed to show that injuries he sustained in an automobile accident were permanent in nature during negotiations with his automobile insurance provider, and thus, the insurer did not act in bad faith in the handling of his claim, a federal judge in Florida ruled Oct. 13 in granting the insurer’s summary judgment motion (David Duncan v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 17-40, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169347).
SCRANTON, Pa. — An auto insurer failed to prove that it will be prejudiced if an insured’s bad faith claim is tried at the same time as the insured’s breach of contract claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Oct. 11 in denying the insurer’s motion to sever and stay the claim (Sandra Mulgrew v. Government Employees Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-2217, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167770).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on Oct. 11 dismissed an insured’s claim for bad faith alleged against an insurer in an auto coverage dispute after finding that the bad faith claim is not ripe for adjudication and will not be ripe for adjudication until after the insured’s breach of contract claim is decided (Gordon McBride v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-1639, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167901).
SCRANTON, Pa. — An insured seeking uninsured motorist benefits for injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident provided sufficient evidence in support of claims for bad faith against the auto insurer, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Oct. 10 in denying the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Thomas Meyers et al., v. Protective Insurance Co., No. 16-1821, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166955).
ATLANTA — An insurer did not act in bad faith in its handling of settlement negotiations because no reasonable jury could conclude that the insurer’s potential negligence caused a failure to settle a claim arising out of an auto accident, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Oct. 10 (Dennis Lee Kemp v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., et al., Nos. 16-15087, 16-15169, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19753).
LAS VEGAS — An additional insured sufficiently alleged breach of contract and bad faith claims against an insurer for improperly denying a construction defects claim, a Nevada federal judge ruled Sept. 29, declining to dismiss the claims (Centex Homes v. Everest National Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-01275, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162687).
LAS VEGAS — An insured has failed to plead sufficient facts to support his claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against his automobile insurance provider who the insured alleged failed to properly compensate him under the terms of the underinsured motorist (UIM) provision in his policy, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Sept. 25 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Wayne Yoshimoto v. Safeco Insurance Co. of Illinois, No. 17-0382, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156232).
PITTSBURGH — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Sept. 28 determined that the imposition of a recklessness standard when deciding whether an insurer acted in bad faith is consistent with the intent of Pennsylvania’s bad faith statute, but said proof of an insurer’s motive of self-interest or ill-will is not required to recover damages under Pennsylvania’s bad faith statute (Matthew Rancosky v. Washington National Insurance Co., No. 28 WAP 2016, Pa. Sup., 2017 Pa. LEXIS 2286).
DENVER — Genuine issues of material fact exist as to the exact amount of medical expenses an insured incurred as a result of an automobile accident with an underinsured motorist and whether an insurer acted in bad faith in its handling of the claim, a federal judge in Colorado ruled Sept. 27 in denying the insured’s summary judgment motion (Cort Dennis v. American Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-2562, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159510).
NEWARK, N.J. — Severing and staying an insured’s bad faith claims in a storm-related damage coverage suit would promote judicial efficiency and avoid prejudice against the insurer, a New Jersey federal magistrate judge said Sept. 26 in granting the insured’s motion to bifurcate the bad faith claims (Legends Management Co. v. Affiliated FM Insurance Co., No. 16-1608, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158898).
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Bifurcation of a bad faith claim in an asbestos coverage dispute is appropriate for trial but not for discovery as the issue of coverage intertwines and overlaps with the issue of bad faith, a Virginia federal magistrate judge said Oct. 2 (Hopeman Brothers Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., et al., No. 16-187, E.D. Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164434).
COLUMBUS, Ga. — Georgia’s bad faith statute does not preclude insureds from alleging claims for fraud and violations of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) because the fraud and RICO claims are not based on the insurer’s failure to pay a claim, a Georgia federal judge said Oct. 3 in refusing to dismiss the RICO and fraud claims (Holly Steigel, et al. v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., et. al., No. 16-346, M.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163341).
PHILADELPHIA — A commercial general liability insurer did not breach its insurance contract nor did it act in bad faith in denying a claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 29 because “deleterious substances” exclusion precluded coverage for grout dust from construction work that led to property damage (Collin R. Ginther v. Preferred Contractors Insurance Company Risk Retention Group LLC, No. 16-686, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161720).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on Sept. 29 recommended that an auto insurer’s motion to dismiss be denied because the insureds sufficiently stated facts in support of their claims for breach of contract and bad faith (Linda L. Winschell, et al. v. Encompass Home and Auto Insurance Co., No. 17-522, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162384).
CINCINNATI — An Ohio federal judge on Sept. 29 determined that only one of two plaintiffs can proceed with a breach of contract claim against an insurer that issued long-term care policies because Florida law banning the use of a hospital confinement provision includes the policy issued to only one of the plaintiffs (Maybelle Z. Smith v. Continental Casualty Co., d/b/a CNA Insurance, No. 16-616, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161558).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Claims-handling experts for two insurers alleging bad faith against each other over settlement of a wrongful death action had their proposed testimony limited Sept. 30 by a New Mexico federal judge, who said the experts cannot offer opinions about whether either party acted in bad faith or unreasonably because such determinations are the province of the trier of fact (American Automobile Insurance Company v. First Mercury Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-cv-439, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163346).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 27 determined that an insured’s claims for punitive damages and attorney fees should be withheld from a jury but that evidence related to how long the insurer took to process the insured’s claim is relevant for the jury to hear as it pertains to the insured’s claim for bad faith arising out of a dispute for lost business property and income caused by the contamination of the insured’s property and business with lead dust (Jordan Mozer & Associates Ltd. v . General Casualty Company of Wisconsin, No. 14-10264, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159518).
ALBANY, N.Y. — No coverage is owed to an insured for two underlying lawsuits alleging injuries caused by exposure to lead paint in the insured’s rental property because the insured failed to provide the insurer with timely notice of the occurrence, which was a 1994 report by the county health department detailing the presence of lead paint in the property, a New York federal judge said Sept. 26 (J. Peter McPartlon v. Continental Casualty Co., and Continental Casualty Co. v. J. Peter McPartlon, Nos. 15-299, 15-1520, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157858).
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge on Sept. 26 denied a motion to bifurcate and stay discovery of the extracontractual claims at issue in a property damage coverage dispute because bifurcation would prolong the case and the insurer would not be prejudiced if the claims were tried together (Welcome Properties 201 LLC v. National Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-1301, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157541).
TULSA, Okla. — Although an insurer’s removal of an insurance bad faith lawsuit was not untimely, it failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeded the jurisdictional amount, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Sept. 25 in remanding the action to state court (Rafel G. McDougal v. GEICO Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-449, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156299).