LOS ANGELES — A reinsurer on April 23 petitioned a California federal court for confirmation of an $82,130.44 arbitration award issued in its favor regarding a bad faith claim made against a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) (Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company Inc. v. O’Connell Landscape Maintenance Inc., No. 18-00683, C.D. Calif.).
OPELIKA, Ala. — An Alabama federal magistrate judge on April 20 recommended against dismissing a former college football player’s breach of contract and bad faith suit against a disability insurer after determining that the insurer does have sufficient minimum contacts with the state of Alabama for specific personal jurisdiction to exist (Kristopher Frost v. North American Capacity Insurance Co., No. 17-344, M.D. Ala., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67957).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 23 dismissed a third-party bad faith claim alleged against the auto insurer of a first-party insured and a third-party insured after determining that pursuant to Pennsylvania law, the first-party insured can file only a first-party bad faith claim against the insurer and not a third-party bad faith claim (Anthony Vella v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 17-1900, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67419).
BALTIMORE — A Maryland federal magistrate judge on April 19 denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract counterclaim in an asbestos coverage dispute but granted the insurer’s motion to dismiss a bad faith counterclaim on the basis that the insured cannot allege a claim for bad faith if the applicable policy cannot be located (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. Tate Andale Inc., No. 17-0670, D. Md., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66981).
SHERMAN, Texas — Insureds have failed to show that they suffered any extreme injury independent of their breach of contract claim against their homeowners insurance provider to support their insurance bad faith claim, a federal judge in Texas ruled April 18 in dismissing the insured’s extracontractual claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit (Guey Ming Yeh, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Co., No. 18-0026, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65061).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The 13th District Texas Court of Appeals on April 12 affirmed a jury’s verdict that an insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith in handling its insureds’ claim for water damage and roof damage caused by a windstorm on the basis that the evidence presented to the jury supports the verdict (State Farm Lloyds v. Ruben and Mayra Vega, No. 13-16-00090, Texas App., 13th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 2592).
DENVER — New evidence in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit may be considered because it creates a genuine issue of material fact as to whether a home that was used in an illegal marijuana-growing operation was used primarily as a private residence, a federal magistrate judge in Colorado ruled April 17 in denying an insurer’s summary judgment motion (Connie Weingarten, et al. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 17-1401, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64004).
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on April 11 awarded summary judgment to an insurer accused of bad faith when denying a man’s $1 million claim for losses incurred following a fire at his home, finding that the evidence on the record demonstrates that the company conducted a reasonable investigation into whether the man actually lost a pair of 1.5 carat diamond earrings and a Louis Vuitton purse in the blaze (American National Property and Casualty Company v. Daniel J. Felix, No. 16-cv-147, W.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61020).
LAS VEGAS — Although an insured has standing to bring her claims against an insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, she has failed to meet the pleading standards under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 in pleading those claims, a federal judge in Nevada ruled April 13 in granting the insurer’s motions to dismiss (Tanya Teodoro v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-2135, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63167).
OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge in Oklahoma on April 10 remanded an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court, ruling that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the action because the amount in controversy is less than the statutory limit for removal (Laura Bivens v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-1181, W.D. Okla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 611110).
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma federal judge on April 13 permitted an insured to depose a representative of an auto insurer regarding the insurer’s knowledge of a possible subrogation claim by a workers’ compensation insurer after determining that the deposition is relevant to the insured’s breach of contract and bad faith claims alleged against the auto insurer (George Andrew Morgan v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 17-622, W.D. Okla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62563).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — Following an almost $10 million award to an insured injured in an auto accident, a California state jury on April 10 awarded the insured $13 million in punitive damages after determining that the insurer acted in bad faith in handling the insured’s claim for underinsured motorist benefits (Omar Dauod v. GEICO Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 30-2014-00761274, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on April 10 dismissed an insured’s claims for breach of contract and bad faith after determining that no coverage exists for the insured’s losses arising out of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme because Madoff’s “wrongful entry” into the insured’s investment account is not the type of “wrongful entry” covered under the homeowners policies at issue (Susan Kostin v. Pacific Indemnity Co., et al., No. 17-1320, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60846).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — In a divided opinion, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on April 9 overturned a state trial court’s award of more than $21 million to insureds in an insurance bad faith lawsuit against its automobile insurance provider and ordered the trial court to enter judgment in favor of the insurer, ruling that the “record does not support many of the trial court’s critical findings of fact” (Daniel Berg v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. Inc., No. 713 MDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. LEXIS 317).
MIAMI — A third-party claimant’s allegation for breach of the duty to provide an adequate defense cannot stand because the allegation is duplicative of the claimant’s bad faith allegations and is dependent on whether the insurer acted in bad faith in its handling of an auto claim on behalf of its insured, a Florida federal judge said April 6 (Wallace Mosley, a minor by and through his guardians, Dina Cellini & Roslyn Weaver, v. Progressive American Insurance Co., No. 14-62850, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59907).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 6 affirmed a district court’s judgment on an insured’s extracontractual claims, but reversed the district court’s judgment of law and instructed the district court to reinstate the jury verdict entered in favor of the insurer because the evidence supports the jury’s finding that the insured breached the policy’s cooperation condition by not providing records of its financial performance, relevant to arson that damaged the insured’s restaurant (Resie’s Chicken & Waffles Restaurant, et al. v. Acceptance Indemnity Company, et al., No. 16-20680, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 8864).
PHILADELPHIA — An insured’s bad faith claim alleged against a homeowners insurer cannot stand because the insured failed to prove how the insurer’s calculation of depreciation costs for a damaged roof amounted to bad faith, a Pennsylvania federal judge said April 6 (Barbara Sands v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 17-4160, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58637).
GREENVILLE, Miss. — An insurer may not rely on the doctrine of fraudulent misjoinder as a basis for removal jurisdiction, a federal judge in Mississippi ruled April 5 in remanding an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court (Kenneth Strachan, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., et al., No. 17-0138, N.D. Miss., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58226).
CHICAGO — An insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured against a manufacturer’s breach of contract claims but has a duty to defend the insured against a city’s claims of property damage to a water treatment facility, an Illinois federal judge ruled April 6, noting that a default judgment awarded to the city falls within policy exclusions (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Maxim Construction Corp., et al., No. 15-9358, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59400).
CHICAGO — The majority of the Fifth District Illinois Appellate Court on April 5 affirmed a trial court’s ruling that insurers breached their contract and acted in bad faith by refusing to settle underlying environmental contamination claims filed against an insured after determining that the insurers used the threat of denying coverage in an attempt to dissuade the insured from settling the claims (Rogers Cartage Co. et al., v. The Travelers Indemnity Co., No. 5-16-0098, Ill. App., 5th Dist., 2018 Ill. App. LEXIS 206).