DETROIT — A Michigan federal judge on Oct. 17 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss its complaint for declaratory judgment after determining that the counterclaims asserted by the insureds are sufficient to decide whether the insurer acted in bad faith by failing to settle an underlying personal injury suit within the policy limits before an excess judgment was entered against the insureds (Wausau Underwriters Insurance Co. v. Reliable Transportation Specialists Inc., et al., No. 15-12954, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178318).
PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on Oct. 17 denied an insured’s motion for summary judgment on a bad faith claim after determining that an insurer’s settlement offer, which was lower than the insured recovered after trial, cannot be the basis of a claim for bad faith (Peggy Foraker v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-87, D. Ore., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178258).
LOS ANGELES — The beneficiaries of a life insurance policy are entitled to benefits because the life insurance policy cannot be considered to have lapsed as the insurer failed to show that it was prejudiced by the insured’s failure to timely notify the insurer of a disability that would have entitled her to a deduction waiver under the policy, the Second District California Court of Appeal said Oct. 16 (Marty Lat v. Farmers New World Life Insurance Co., No. B282008, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 932).
FORT WORTH, Texas — A federal judge overseeing an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit in Texas ruled Oct. 11 that an insured failed to show that its insurer breached any obligation it had under the terms of an insurance policy when it replaced roofing materials with lesser quality materials after the insured’s property sustained hail and windstorm damage to its roof because the insured failed to show that it sustained damages as a result of the alleged breach (University Baptist Church of Fort Worth v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 17-962, N.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175401).
BOISE, Idaho — An insured claims in an Oct. 15 complaint filed in Idaho federal court that its insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying coverage for the contamination of the insured’s sugar caused by an excess of chlorine contained in the water used to liquefy the sugar for the insured’s customers (The Amalgamated Sugar Co. LLC v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 18-448, D. Idaho).
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An Indiana federal magistrate judge on Oct. 5 denied an insured’s motion for summary judgment on the duty to defend and indemnify in an environmental liability coverage suit after determining that an issue of fact exists as to whether the insured’s notice of the underlying environmental liability claims was timely pursuant to the policies at issue (Landis+Gyr, et al. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 16-82, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173197).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Oct. 15 ruled that a federal district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over an insured’s insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against her auto insurer because the amount in controversy requirement for diversity of citizenship in the lawsuit has not been met (Rhonda Hargrove-Davis v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, No. 18-923, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176385).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Oct. 12 held that issues of fact preclude summary judgment as to whether a commercial general liability insurer acted in bad faith in its claims handling of underlying class actions filed against Yahoo! Inc. over its practice of scanning the content of emails (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 17-00489, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176115).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Insureds are not entitled to recover emotional distress damages as a result of an insurer’s alleged bad faith handling of their claim for water damages because the insureds suffered no physical injury that would entitle them to such damages under New Mexico law, a New Mexico federal judge said Oct. 10 (Hector Fava, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp., No. 17-456, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175153).
EL PASO, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Oct. 9 granted an insured’s motion to compel production of the insurer’s claim investigation file regarding one of the insured’s properties for which coverage was provided after determining that the file is relevant to the insured’s claims that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying coverage for another of the insured’s properties that was damaged on the same day by the same storm (Gary B. Crossland d/b/a Gold Cross Properties v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 18-85, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173878).
TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 9 ruled that insureds in a homeowners insurance dispute failed to show that their insurer acted in bad faith in denying their claim for coverage because the insurer relied on information provided by two engineers showing that property damage to the home was not covered under the insurance policy (Natalie Orban, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 16-3050, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173212).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 9 denied an insured’s petition for writ of certiorari, refusing to review the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in an insurance bad faith suit under the precedent set by the Supreme Court in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins (David Duncan v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 18-108, U.S. Sup.).
AUSTIN, Texas — An insured recently told the Texas Supreme Court that its lawsuit seeking recourse against its insurer pursuant to the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (TPPCA) is important to the state’s jurisprudence because it invites the high court to explain how the principles of USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Menchaca apply when an insurer invokes appraisal after the onset of litigation (Barbara Technologies Corporation v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17-0640, Texas Sup.).
SALYERSVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky state jury on Sept. 28 entered a $14.3 million punitive damages verdict against an insurer after determining that the insurer acted in bad faith in refusing to provide coverage to its insured, an energy company accused of trespassing on Kentucky property owners’ lands to extract natural gas (Lahoma Salyer, et al. v. J.D. Carty Resources, et al., No. 07-00006, Ky. Cir., Magoffin Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — An insured’s bad faith claim cannot be sustained against the parent company of a homeowners insurer because the insured failed to prove that the parent company acted in bad faith in the handling of her claim for water damages, a California federal judge said Oct. 3 (Tam Vu v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-3594, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171347).
STAMFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut judge on Sept. 10 ruled that an insured failed to sufficiently plead allegations that her automobile insurance provider acted in bad faith in failing to properly investigate and evaluate her claim for coverage after an automobile accident with an underinsured motorist (Jessica Calorossi v. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. FSTCV176032926S, Conn. Super, Stamford-Norwalk Dist., 2018 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2249).
PHOENIX — A workers’ compensation claimant’s bad faith claim cannot stand because the claimant failed to obtain a compensability determination from the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) before filing suit against the insurer, an Arizona federal judge said Sept. 30 (Bernard Higgins v. XL Insurance America Inc., No. 17-582, D. Ariz., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168968).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas federal judge on Sept. 25 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after rejecting the assignee’s counterclaims that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by failing to hire competent counsel to represent insureds in an underlying negligence case arising out of a vehicular homicide accident (Progressive Northwestern Insurance Co. v. Gabriel Gant, No. 15-9267, D. Kan., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163624
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 26 held that because of conflicting evidence in the record, there is a genuine issue of fact regarding the cause of insureds’ floor damage following an August 2016 rainfall in East Baton Rouge Parish, denying dueling motions for summary judgment on breach of contract claims against a homeowners insurer and a federal flood insurer (Eric Graham, et al. v. Republic Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-00505, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166934).
TAMPA, Fla. — A bad faith claim filed by an insured against an auto insurer is premature because the insured’s auto coverage claim has yet to be resolved, a Florida federal judge said Oct. 2 in dismissing the claim without prejudice (Rhonda Hargrove-Davis v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, No. 18-923, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169775).