Mealey's Insurance Bad Faith

  • August 15, 2017

    Florida Majority Reverses Ruling In Bad Faith Suit Over Sinkhole Damage

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A majority of a Florida appeals panel on Aug. 11 held that no Florida statute or case law precludes an insured from filing a civil remedy notice (CRN) while a demand for appraisal is outstanding, reversing and remanding a lower court’s ruling in favor of the insurer in a bad faith lawsuit arising from the insured’s claim for sinkhole damage (Phillip Landers v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 5D15-4032, Fla. App., 5th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 11543).

  • August 15, 2017

    Insurer Ordered To Produce Claim Documents, Billing Records In Bad Faith Case

    HATTIESBURG, Miss. — A federal magistrate judge in Mississippi on Aug. 4 ordered an insurer to produce documents and its former attorney to produce billing records related to the handling of an uninsured/underinsured motorist’s claim, finding that the insurer waived its protections under attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine (Craig Flanagan, et al. v Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Company, No. 2:17-cv-33-KS-MTP, S.D. Miss., Eastern Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123204).

  • August 14, 2017

    8th Circuit: Faulty Fire System Is Not An ‘Accident’ Under Insurance Policy

    ST. LOUIS — Replacing drywall and insulation as a result of a subcontractor’s faulty fire suppression system did not constitute an “accident” under a general liability insurance policy, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 11, affirming the dismissal of breach of contract and bad faith claims against an insurer (McShane Construction Company LLC v. Gotham Insurance Co., No. 16-2632, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14875).

  • August 14, 2017

    Federal Judge Finds Questions Of Fact Exist On Amount Of Coverage Owed

    ABERDEEN, Miss. — A Mississippi federal judge on Aug. 10 denied an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a suit alleging that the insurer acted in bad faith by failing to pay the insured the full replacement cost of his home after determining that genuine issues of material fact exist regarding the insured’s claim for contractual damages (James Whitfield v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co., No. 16-51, N.D. Miss., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127732).

  • August 11, 2017

    Michigan Panel Says Insured Not Owed UIM Limits Under Auto Policy

    DETROIT — The Michigan Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 found no error in a circuit court’s conclusion that an insured is not entitled to the underinsured motorist limit of an auto policy for a motorcycle accident because the auto policy provides no coverage for the insured’s motorcycle and the insured collected the underinsured motorist limit on a separate motorcycle policy (James V. Toder v. Progressive Michigan Insurance Co., No. 332786, Mich. App., 2017 Mich. App. LEXIS 1239). 

  • August 10, 2017

    Appellate Court Applied Right Standard In Reversing Bad Faith Ruling, GEICO Says

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida appellate court did not err in reversing a state trial court’s denial of a motion for a directed verdict in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because the appellate court properly considered all factors presented and applied the necessary factors in ruling that an insurer was entitled to judgment as a matter of law, the insurer argues in a July 19 answering brief filed in the Florida Supreme Court (James M. Harvey v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. SC17-85, Fla. Sup.).

  • August 9, 2017

    Arizona Federal Judge Denies Motion To Remand Insured’s Bad Faith Suit

    PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on Aug. 4 denied an insured’s motion to remand after determining that the insurer has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds the federal jurisdictional minimum of $75,000 (Ziva Hoarau v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, No. 17-1594, D. Ariz., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123059).

  • August 9, 2017

    Insurer’s Motion To Dismiss Granted; Federal Judge Says Negligence Claim Not Allowed

    PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on July 26 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s claims for declaratory relief and negligence per se after determining that the  claim for declaratory relief is not an amended claim and that the negligence per se claim is not permitted under Oregon law (Peggy Foraker v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-87, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116895).

  • August 9, 2017

    Bad Faith Claims Alleged Against Insurer, Law Firm Will Be Tried In State Court

    SANTA FE, N.M. — A bad faith lawsuit filed against an insurer and the law firm that represented the insured in an underlying personal injury suit must be remanded to New Mexico state court because complete diversity of citizenship does not exist, a federal circuit judge, sitting by designation, said July 24 (Amanda Jones Worthington, et al. v. MGA Insurance Co. Inc., et al., No. 17-498, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116136).

  • August 9, 2017

    Oklahoma Federal Judge: No Evidence Supports Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims

    OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma federal judge on July 26 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the insured failed to present any evidence that the insurer breached its contract or delayed payment for a vandalism claim in bad faith (Karen Sue Sperling v. CSAA Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-101, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116823).

  • August 9, 2017

    Auto Exclusion Bars Claims, Federal Judge Says In Dismissing Assignee’s Suit

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on July 25 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss an assignee’s complaint after determining that the breach of contract and bad faith claims alleged against the insurer could not stand because the insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify its insured in an underlying suit pursuant to the policy’s auto exclusion (Zoe Bernstein v. Nautilus Insurance Co., No. 16-2883, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116343).

  • August 9, 2017

    Jury Could Find Insurer Acted In Bad Faith, Judge Says In Refusing Summary Judgment

    TAMPA, Fla. — Denying an automobile insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a bad faith lawsuit, a Florida federal judge on Aug. 4 held that a jury could find that the insurer did not handle a bodily injury claim with the same degree of care that it would have used to handle its own affairs (Richard Soricelli v. GEICO Indemnity Co., No. 16-1535, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122950).

  • August 8, 2017

    Federal Judge Dismisses Disability-Related Coverage Claims As Time-Barred

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Aug. 3 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss claims for breach of contract and fraud in relation to its denial of long-term disability (LTD) benefits for a university employee, finding that all of the employee’s claims were untimely (Laurel Davis v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, No. 3:17-cv-00738, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122776).

  • August 8, 2017

    Federal Judge Denies Untimely Filed Motion In Insurance Bad Faith Suit

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Denial of an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in an insurance bad faith lawsuit is proper because the insurer filed the motion over a year and a half after the deadline for dispositive motions, a federal judge in California ruled July 24 in denying the motion (Joanne Koegel v. Government Employees Insurance Co., No. 14-0256, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116322).

  • August 3, 2017

    Split Georgia Appeals Court: No Bad Faith By Insurer In Failing Stucco Suits

    ATLANTA — A divided Georgia Court of Appeals on June 30 upheld a trial court’s summary judgment ruling for an insured on its breach of contract and declaratory claims and on the insurer’s counterclaims; however, the majority reversed denial of summary judgment for the insurer on a claim for bad faith, finding that “[t]he question of whether the previous reservations of rights were still effective had not been squarely answered in Georgia” (American Safety Indemnity Co. v. Sto Corp., No. A17A0453, Ga. App., 2017 Ga. App. LEXIS 339).

  • August 1, 2017

    Panel: Insurer Has No Duty To Defend, Indemnify $7M Wrongful Death Judgment

    SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 26 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that a homeowners insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an underlying $7 million judgment awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit brought against the estate of its insured (Western National Assurance Co. v. Sally Wipf, et al., No. 15-35071, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13532).

  • July 28, 2017

    Policyholders Seek Right To Sue For Financial Elder Abuse Under Oregon Law

    SALEM, Ore. — An insurer is not exempt from liability under Oregon state law for civil financial elder abuse, individuals who have purchased long-term care insurance policies from Bankers Life and Casualty Co. claim in a May 10 opening brief filed in the Oregon Supreme Court (Lorraine Bates, et al. v. Bankers Life and Casualty Company, et al., No. CA S064742, Ore. Sup.).

  • July 27, 2017

    Judge Grants Motion To Bifurcate Trial And To Hold Bad Faith Issues In Abeyance

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on July 18 granted an insurer’s motion to bifurcate an insured’s bad faith counterclaim from other claims in a hailstorm coverage dispute and to hold the discovery of bad faith issues in abeyance pending the resolution of the other claims (Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. SG&D Ventures LLC, No. 17-00105, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111956).

  • July 24, 2017

    Kentucky Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Third-Party Bad Faith Claim In Malpractice Suit

    FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Kentucky appeals panel on July 21 affirmed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a professional liability insurer in a lawsuit alleging that the insurer breached its duty to deal in good faith with a third party who sued its doctor insured for medical malpractice (Deborah Lemaster v. Medical Protective Insurance Services, Inc., No. 2016-CA-000826, Ky. App., 2017 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 534).

  • July 21, 2017

    California Federal Judge Allows Claims To Stand In Life Insurance Rate Case

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on July 10 determined that plaintiffs alleging that a life insurer wrongfully increased monthly deduction rates alleged sufficient facts to support their claims for breach of contract and bad faith (EFG Back AG, Cayman Branch, v. Transamerica Life Insurance Co., No. 16-8104, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109780).