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Mealey's Insurance Bad Faith

  • August 15, 2019

    Calif. Federal Judge Remands Bad Faith Suit, Says Complete Diversity Does Not Exist

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Aug. 13 remanded an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith suit against its insurer and its insurance broker after determining that the insured sufficiently stated a claim of negligence against the insurance broker and, therefore, proved that complete diversity among the parties does not exist (Rabbit Ridge Wine Sales v. Unigard Insurance Co., No. 19-5440, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136774). 

  • August 15, 2019

    Federal Judge Approves Parties’ Settlement On Behalf Of Minor In Bad Faith Suit

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Aug. 12 adopted a magistrate judge’s recommendation to approve a settlement between a minor child and an auto insurer, agreeing with the magistrate judge that the proposed settlement in the breach of contract and bad faith suit is fair and in the best interests of the child (Tera Lisicky, et al. v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-1642, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135837).

  • August 14, 2019

    Insurer Granted Summary Judgment In Homeowners Insurance Coverage Dispute

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 12 granted an insurer’s summary judgment motion in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit stemming from a wildfire damage claim, ruling that no triable issues of fact exist to support the insureds’ arguments that the insurer improperly narrowed its investigation of their claim to show that no damage existed (Jensen Shirley, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 18-994, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135776).

  • August 14, 2019

    Judge Denies Insurer’s Summary Judgment Motion In Bad Faith Suit

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A federal judge in South Dakota on July 26 ruled that an insurer is not entitled to summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit stemming from its handling of a workers’ compensation benefits claim because an insured exhausted all administrative remedies before bringing his claim (Randy Ball v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 18-4008, D. S.D., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124756).

  • August 14, 2019

    Majority Affirms Ruling In Favor Of Excess Directors, Officers Liability Insurer

    SAN FRANCISCO — A majority of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 12 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a first-level excess directors and officers liability insurer on a software company insured’s breach of contract and bad faith claims, finding that the insured was not liable for any portion of an underlying settlement and the insured’s alleged breach was not the proximate cause of the insured’s purported damages (Genesis Insurance Co. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., et al., No. 17-17362, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23956).

  • August 13, 2019

    Insured Abandoned Tortious Bad Faith Claim By Not Filing Response, Judge Says

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Aug. 9 dismissed an insured’s claims for tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and punitive damages against a homeowners insurer after determining that the insured abandon her rights to the claim by failing to file an opposition to the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Roblee Larson-Valentine v. Travelers Commercial Insurance Co., No. 19-1209, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134660).

  • August 13, 2019

    Insurer, Massage Therapist Settle Coverage Suit Over Inappropriate Sexual Acts

    LAS VEGAS — An insurer and its massage therapist insured announced Aug. 5 that they reached a settlement “globally resolving” the insured’s breach of contract, bad faith and declaratory judgment coverage lawsuit arising from underlying allegations that he engaged in inappropriate sexual acts while he was performing a massage (Limmie Young, III, et al. v. Starr Indemnity & Liability Company, No. 14-00239, D. Nev.).

  • August 12, 2019

    Florida Federal Judge Dismisses Disability Suit, Says Claims Are Untimely

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on Aug. 8 dismissed a disability claimant’s amended complaint with prejudice after determining that the claimant cannot successfully allege breach of contract and bad faith claims against the insurer because they are barred by the policy’s three-year limitations provision and Delaware’s applicable three-year statute of limitations (Douglas Kuber v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 19-80151, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134537).

  • August 12, 2019

    Bad Faith, Fraud Claims Dismissed Against Disability Insurer, Administrator

    NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 8 determined that a disability claimant’s allegations of bad faith and fraud must be dismissed because the claimant failed to provide sufficient facts in support of the claims (Steven Javie v. Massachusetts Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-2748, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133123).

  • August 6, 2019

    Bad Faith Claim Against Disability Insurer Will Proceed, Judge Says

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A bad faith claim alleged against a disability insurer can proceed because questions of fact exist as to whether the insurer’s termination of long-term disability benefits was unreasonable and as to whether the bad faith claim is subject to the applicable two-year statute of limitations, a California federal judge said Aug. 2 in denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Stephanie Jensen v. Dearborn National Life Insurance Co., No. 17-7320, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129835).

  • August 6, 2019

    Issues Of Fact Exist On Auto Insurer’s Handling Of Rental Car

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 2 reversed a district court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an auto insurer after determining that a reasonable  fact finder could find that the insurer breach its contract and acted in bad faith in limiting the duration of coverage for a rental car following the appraisal of the insureds’ vehicle that was totaled in a car accident (Kyle Stechert, et al. v. The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-2305, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23243).

  • August 6, 2019

    University Seeks Coverage For Hundreds Of Sexual Abuse Claims Against Professor

    NEW YORK — The Rockefeller University on Aug. 4 sued its primary and excess commercial general liability insurers in the New York County Supreme Court for breach of contract, bad faith and deceptive business practices and sought a declaration as to coverage for several hundred underlying claims alleging that its former employee sexually abused children for a span of 40 years (The Rockefeller University v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Company, et al., No. 654425/2019, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

  • August 5, 2019

    Issues Of Fact Exist In Water, Mold Coverage Suit, Judge Says

    BALTIMORE — A homeowners insurer is not entitled to summary judgment on an insured’s claims of breach of contract and bad faith because issues of fact exist regarding whether additional coverage is owed for water and mold damages in the insured home, a Maryland federal judge said Aug. 1 (William Jackson v. The Standard Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-1612, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129884).

  • August 2, 2019

    Insured Asks 5th Circuit To Reverse Ruling In Suit Arising From Hail, Wind Damage

    NEW ORLEANS — A church insured recently asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in its lawsuit alleging that the insurer breached the contract and acted in bad faith when it replaced roofing materials with lesser quality materials after the insured's property sustained hail and windstorm damage to its roof (University Baptist Church of Fort Worth v. Lexington Insurance Company, 18-11415, 5th Cir.).

  • August 2, 2019

    Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suit Against Insurer Barred By Limitation Clause

    SEATTLE — A homeowner’s suit alleging claims for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of property damages caused by a burglary is barred by a policy’s 12-month suit limitation clause, a Washington federal judge said July 31 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Annelise Farnes v. Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 18-1882, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128350).

  • August 1, 2019

    Opinion In Bad Faith Suit Affirmed After Insured Failed To Preserve Issue

    DALLAS — A Texas appellate panel on July 18 affirmed a state trial court’s judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured failed to preserve her issue on appeal by filing an objection in the trial court (Sherica Redrick v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 05-18-00190, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 6179).

  • August 1, 2019

    Reduced Payment Was Not Breach Of Contract Or Bad Faith, Federal Judge Says

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — An insured’s claims for breach of contract and bad faith cannot stand because the auto insurer did not breach its contract by paying a reduced amount for medical charges incurred by the insured, a North Carolina federal judge said July 30 (Crystal Grimes, et al. v. Government Employees Insurance Co., No. 18-798, M.D. N.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126618).

  • July 31, 2019

    4th Circuit Remands Insurance Bad Faith Case In Light Of Discovery Ruling

    RICHMOND, Va. — In an insurance bad faith action against an insurer for its failure to defend an insured in a construction defect action, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 25 remanded to a district court for instructions in accordance with the South Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling that “denying liability and/or asserting good faith in the answer does not, standing alone,” waive attorney-client privilege for claim files addressing the insurer’s reinsurance and reserves (In re:  Mt. HawleyInsuranceCo., No. 18-1401, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22356).

  • July 31, 2019

    Bifurcation Would Delay Resolution Of Homeowners’ Suit Against Insurer

    MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin federal judge on July 30 denied a homeowners insurer’s request to bifurcate an insured’s breach of contract claim from bad faith claims after determining that bifurcation would delay the resolution of the lawsuit filed after a dispute arose regarding coverage for fire damages to the insured’s home (Jennifer Reno v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 19-387, W.D. Wis., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126555).

  • July 31, 2019

    Bad Faith Claim Against Commercial Insurer To Proceed, Judge Says

    PADUCAH, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on July 29 denied a commercial property insurer’s motion on an insured’s bad faith claim after determining that the claim is not barred simply because the insured’s breach of contract claim is barred by the policy’s two-year contractual limitations provision (David Miller, d/b/a World Famous Libby’s, v. Seneca Specialty Insurance Co. Inc., No. 18-054, W.D. Ky., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125792).