TULSA, Okla. — A federal judge in Oklahoma on June 13 denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, rejecting the insurer’s claim that, at this time, it is not a party to the insurance contract at issue (Ranchers Pipe & Steel Corp. v. Ohio Security Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-0192, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90278).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal district court did not err in granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on an insured’s claim for insurance bad faith because the insured failed to plead any genuine issues of material facts to support the claim, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 19 in affirming (Jesse Kalberer v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-17220, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10779).
SHERMAN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on June 20 adopted a magistrate judge’s recommendation that an insured’s motion to remand be denied because complete diversity of citizenship exists as the insured’s complaint does not specifically allege any claims against the insurer’s adjuster, who also is a resident of Texas (Max Wang v. Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana et al., No. 17-158, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94255).
MUSKOGEE, Okla. — An insured failed to show that material issues of fact exist as to whether his insurer acted in bad faith in denying his claim for coverage under the terms of a commercial property insurance policy and, as a result, is not entitled to punitive damages on the bad faith claim, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled June 20 in granting in part the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Billy Hamilton v. Northfield Insurance Co., No. 16-519, E.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94672).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — The Fourth District California Court of Appeal on June 19 reversed a summary judgment ruling entered in favor of an insurer after determining that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the insurer’s refusal to cover an insured’s epidural injections for injuries sustained in an automobile accident was reasonable (Carmen Zubillaga v. Allstate Indemnity Co., No. G052603, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 562).
PASADENA, Calif. — A federal district court did not err in denying an insurer’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on an insurance bad faith claim because a reasonable jury could have determined that the insurer had a reasonable opportunity to settle the claims against its insured, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 15 in affirming (Carlos Madrigal, et al. v. Allstate Indemnity Co., Nos. 16-55839 and 16-55863, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 16 overruled arguments from a general contractor that a jury was not properly instructed about certain exclusions included in a policy obtained from ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Co., finding that the contactor was reading the exclusions too narrowly (ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Company, RRG v. Valley Corp. B., et al., No. 14-17544, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10716).
SAN FRANCISCO — An insured has asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s finding that coverage for an underlying qui tam action brought against it under the False Claims Act (FCA) is barred because the claims arose out of its professional services (HotChalk Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., No. 16-17287, 9th Cir.).
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on June 9 denied a motion to dismiss a life insurance beneficiary’s claims of bad faith alleged against two insurers after determining that the beneficiary alleged sufficient facts in support of the claims (Mehdi Vossoughi v. AIG Property Casualty Company et al., No. 17-0247, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89206).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on June 13 ordered an insurer to show cause as to why an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit should be litigated in federal court and not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Reseda Medical Clinic, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Company, et al., No. 17-3686, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90932).
DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on June 12 entered a final judgment in favor of a professional liability insurer after finding that it has no duty to defend or indemnify against an underlying lawsuit alleging that its insured entered into a “kickback contract” to steer additional subcontractor work to city-employee-controlled companies (Ciber, Inc. v. Ace American Insurance Co., No. 16-1189, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89895).
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — An Ohio appeals panel on May 31 dismissed an appeal from Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co.’s over the denial of its motion to stay discovery in a suit accusing a couple of intentionally setting fire to their home to collect insurance proceeds, finding that the ruling does not require the insurer to produce privileged documents (Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Mark Jones, et al., No. 15CA3709, Ohio App., 4th Dist., 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 2300).
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 13 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of an insured’s lawsuit against its partners management liability reimbursement insurer, finding that the lower court did not abuse its discretion in denying the insured leave to amend its complaint (Cove Partners, LLC v. XL Specialty Insurance Company, No. 16-55315, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10504).
DALLAS — Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is not proper because an insurance adjuster was improperly joined in the litigation, a federal judge in Texas ruled June 1 (Jesus Gutierrez v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-0636, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84253).
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on June 6 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that an insured seeking underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits failed to prove that the insurer acted in bad faith by delaying its handling and investigation of the insured’s claim (Eileen Hanson v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 16-0568, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86708).
NEWARK, N.J. — An insured has failed to state any plausible claims to support his contention that his life insurance provider breached its contract or acted in bad faith in canceling his policy without providing proper notification, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled June 5 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss (David M. Watkins v. Protective Life Insurance Co., No. 17-0734, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85862).
GRETNA, La. — A Louisiana appeals panel on May 31 decreased a lower court’s award of bad faith penalties against an insurer from $32,162.46 to $8,040.61 in a Hurricane Isaac coverage dispute and vacated the lower court’s $12,864.98 attorney fees award in favor of the insured (Mary Williams v. Security Plan Fire Insurance Co., No. 16-CA-714, La. App., 5th Cir., 2017 La. App. LEXIS 1004).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana appeals panel on June 2 reversed a judgment entered in favor of an insolvent insurer on a personal injury claim arising out of a vehicle accident involving an insured and his father; however, the panel affirmed judgment on the involuntary dismissal of property damage and bad faith claims (John Cook and Jason J. Scott v. U.S. Agencies Mgt. Services, et al., No. 2016 CA 0802, La. App., 1st Cir., 2017 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 182).
PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on May 25 partially granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that Arizona’s survival statute precludes the personal representative of an insured’s estate from recovering damages for the insured’s alleged emotional distress damages caused by injuries sustained in an automobile accident (Edward B. Kile, et al. v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 15-380, D. Ariz., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81239).
SCRANTON, Pa. — Insureds have failed to show that an insurer acted in bad faith in failing to pay for coverage for personal property loss under a homeowners insurance policy because any delay in payment was a result of the insureds’ failure to provide the insurer with the necessary personal property inventory until 18 months after the loss, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled in granting the insurer’s summary judgment motion on May 30 (Ronald Turner, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 15-906, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81922).