MILWAUKEE — A federal judge in Wisconsin on Sept. 8 granted an insurer's motion to bifurcate and stay an insurance bad faith claim in an insurance coverage dispute stemming from hailstorm damage to a condominium complex, ruling that such action is warranted to promote judicial economy (Sherman Creek Condominiums Inc. v. Mid-Century Insurance Co., No. 19-1735, E.D. Wis., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163377).
DALLAS — An insured's bad faith claim arising out of a property insurer's denial of additional coverage for storm damages can proceed because the insured presented sufficient facts to support his claim, a Texas federal judge said Sept. 3 (James Singer v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 19-1672, N.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161188).
LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on Sept. 3 granted an auto insurer's motion to dismiss an insured's bad faith claim with leave to amend after determining that the insured failed to show that the insurer's settlement offer for underinsured motorist benefits was unreasonable (Michael Jacobs v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 19-1934, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161776).
LAS VEGAS — An insured's claim for tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing must be dismissed with leave to amend because the insured failed to offer sufficient facts showing that her auto insurer's denial of her claim for underinsured motorist benefits was not reasonable, a Nevada federal judge said Sept. 3 (Nancy Diec v. GEICO Casualty Co., No. 20-122, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161756).
DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on Sept. 15 determined than an insured's claims for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of an auto insurer's decision to issue one check for uninsured motorist benefits to the divorced parents of a 5-year-old boy who died in a car accident can proceed because issues of fact exist as to whether the insurer's decision to issue one check requiring the endorsements of both parents was reasonable (Raymond Robles v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 19-1748, D. Col., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168477).
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A Michigan federal judge on Sept. 15 awarded an insured almost $2.5 million in prefiling prejudgment interest because the insured's bad faith claim arising out of the settlement of underlying claims based on the insured's sale of defective artificial knee joints was founded in contract and, therefore, permitted under Michigan law (Stryker Corp., et. al. v. XL Insurance America Inc., No. 17-66, W.D. Mich.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Sept. 14 dismissed without prejudice all claims in a retailer insured's class complaint against its insurer, finding that the insured is not entitled to business income, extra expense or civil authority coverage as a matter of law for its claimed losses following the state's "Stay at Home" order in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, granting the insured leave to amend because the law regarding "business interruption coverage linked to the COVID-19 pandemic is very much in development" (Mudpie, Inc. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 20-03213, N.D. Calif.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania trial court did not err in finding that a bad faith claim against an auto insurer cannot proceed because the insureds failed to provide evidence that the insurer's failure to pay additional underinsured motorist benefits was unreasonable, a panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court said Sept. 11 (Kevin Beach, et al. v. The Navigators Insurance Co., No. 1550 MDA 2019, Pa. Super., 2020 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2886).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 15 granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer after determining that no coverage is owed to an additional insured seeking coverage for an underlying personal injury suit and that the insurer did not act in bad faith in denying the claim (Eastern LLC v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 19-5283, E.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168104).
TACOMA, Wash. — Bifurcation of an insured's bad faith and tort claims from the insured's contract claims in an auto coverage dispute is not warranted because bifurcation would ultimately result in a delay of the resolution of the case, a Washington federal judge said Sept. 10 (Katelyn J. Griffin v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 20-5540, W.D. Wash., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165521).
ALEXANDRIA, La. — An occupational therapist seeking to recover disability benefits under a plan issued by her employer cannot allege state law claims for bad faith, breach of contract and detrimental reliance against her employer and disability insurer because the claims are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a Louisiana federal judge said Sept. 10 in dismissing the state law claims (Melanie Lewellyan v. Red River Rehab LLC, et al., No. 19-1105, W.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166859).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Sept. 8 denied an insured's motion to remand a breach of contract and bad faith suit arising out of fire damages to an insured home after determining that it was not initially clear that the insured's damages exceeded the federal jurisdictional minimum amount of $75,000 (Ramon Sanchez v. AMCO Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-1633, E.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163761).
NEW YORK — An insurer breached its contract and breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by refusing to pay more than $2 million in additional coverage for water damages sustained by an insured business, an insured contends in a Sept. 8 complaint filed in a New York court (408 W. 15 Members LLC et al., v. Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. et al., No. n/a, N.Y. Sup., N.Y. Co.).
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — Parties to a loan and security agreement on Sept. 4 filed counterclaims against an insurer, which is in rehabilitation, for breach of contract, bad faith and breach of fiduciary duty in a North Carolina federal court case over the insurer's efforts to recover $45,675,960 under the agreement based upon a borrower's default (Colorado Bankers Life Insurance Company v. Summerville Asset Management, LLC, et al., No. 20-432, E.D. N.C.).
LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles resident on Aug. 19 filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice of his class action complaint alleging in a California federal court that an insurance policy specifically covered his trip cancellation due to California’s civil authority orders in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic (Richard Robbins v. Generali Global Assistance, Inc., et al., No. 20-04904, C.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA — A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit stemming from an automobile accident that caused the death of a claimant because no reasonable jury could determine that the insurer "unreasonably exposed its insured to a judgment in excess of his policy limits," an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 28 (Nya Yanitza Montanez v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 18-80788, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 27449).
LOS ANGELES — Insurers named as defendants in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit stemming from their denial of a lost business coverage claim filed by the operator of a nail salon that was forced to close during the novel coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 28 asked a federal judge in California to dismiss their insured's complaint, arguing that the insured failed to plead any basis for coverage under the terms of the policy he purchased (Thomas Phan v. Nationwide General Insurance Co., et al., No. 20-7616, C.D. Calif.).
LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Sept. 4 held that a homeowners insurer's invocation of an appraisal under the policy and subsequent payment of the appraisal award after the expiration of the statutory cure period did not, as a matter of law, cure the insurer's alleged violation of failing to attempt to settle the insureds' Hurricane Irma property damage claim in good faith, reversing a lower court and remanding for further proceedings so the insureds can pursue their bad faith action (Patti Fortune, et al. v. First Protective Insurance Company, No. 2D19-2209, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2020 Fla. App. LEXIS 12540).
DAYTON, Ohio — An Ohio federal judge on Sept. 1 granted a homeowners insurer's motion for summary judgment on a bad faith claim because no reasonable juror could find that the insurer's denial of coverage for a fire loss claim was unreasonable (Charles A. Waldren v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-290, S.D. Ohio, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159161).
LAS VEGAS — An insured's bad faith claim alleged against an auto insurer will proceed because the insured presents sufficient facts in support of the claim, a Nevada federal judge said Aug. 31 in partially denying the insurer's motion to dismiss (Andrew Davies v. Government Employees Insurance Co., No. 19-1987, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158125).