Mealey's Insurance Bad Faith

  • December 6, 2017

    With Expert Opinions Allowed, Insurer Denied Judgment On Home Damage Claims

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee federal judge on Dec. 4 denied summary judgment to an insurer in a lawsuit over coverage for a damaged home after finding that testimony by the homeowners’ expert is admissible and raises a material factual dispute about whether a sinkhole caused the damage (Debra Daniels, et al. v. Erie Insurance Group, No. 3:16-cv-01977, M.D. Tenn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198906).

  • December 5, 2017

    11th Circuit Says District Court Did Not Err In Finding Bad Faith Claim Fails

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 30 affirmed a district court’s judgment in favor of an insurer on a bad faith claim after determining that the district court did not err in concluding that no reasonable jury could find that the insurer acted in bad faith by failing to settle a claim against the insured (Shirley Kwiatkowski v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 17-11068, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24190).

  • December 4, 2017

    Connecticut Federal Judge: Cracks In Foundation Are Not Sudden And Accidental Loss

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — No coverage is owed to insureds seeking coverage for cracks discovered in their basement walls and caused by the presence of a mineral used in the concrete because the insureds’ loss was not sudden and accidental as required under the policy, a  Connecticut federal judge said Nov. 30 (Alan D. Lees, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 15-1050, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196728).

  • December 4, 2017

    Federal Judge: Insurer Didn’t Breach Contract When It Denied Nursing Home Benefits

    SEATTLE — Finding that a long-term-care insurance policy unambiguously defines the requirements of receiving nursing home benefits versus assisted living facility benefits, a Washington federal judge on Nov. 30 affirmed a lower court’s finding that the insurer did not breach the contract when it denied a request for nursing home benefits (Mike Howisey, et al. v. Transamerica Life Insurance Co., No. 17-00009, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197220).

  • December 4, 2017

    Pennsylvania Judge Vacates No Coverage Ruling In Dispute Over Racetrack Death

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania judge on Nov. 30 found that a lower court erred in finding that a commercial umbrella liability insurer has no duty to indemnify its insured against $2.6 million in punitive damages that it paid to settle an underlying wrongful death and survival action, vacating and remanding for an entry of summary judgment in favor of the insured on the breach of contract claim and for reinstatement and further proceedings on the bad faith claim (Bensalem Racing Association, Inc., et al. v. Ace Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 530 EDA 2017, Pa. Super.).

  • December 1, 2017

    Insurer’s Motion For Bifurcation In Bad Faith Suit Substantially Denied

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A federal judge in New Mexico on Nov. 20 substantially denied an insurer’s motion to bifurcate trial on an insured’s noncontractual claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that bifurcation of the contractual claims from the noncontractual claims will be granted at trial by the judge as needed, even though all claims will be tried “before the same jury” (Claudell Hodges v. GEICO Insurance, No. 17-0960, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191479).

  • December 1, 2017

    Judge: Insureds Failed To Sufficiently Plead Bad Faith Claim Against Insurer

    PHILADELPHIA — Insureds in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against their automobile insurance provider have failed to plead the necessary facts to support their claim that their insurer acted in bad faith in the handling of the underinsured motorist (UIM) claim, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Nov. 17 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Edward Sherman, et al. v. State Farm Insurance Co., No. 17-4822, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190363).

  • December 1, 2017

    11th Circuit Panel Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling In Bad Faith Suit

    ATLANTA — A federal district court did not err in granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because an insured failed to provide sufficient evidence that would allow a reasonable jury to determine that the insurer acted in bad faith in its investigation into a wrongful death claim, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 29 (Gregory C. Welford v. Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 16-14054, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24081).

  • December 1, 2017

    Removal Of Bad Faith Lawsuit Not Permitted Under Statute, Judge Rules

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is warranted because an insurer failed to show that removal was permitted  under the bad faith exception to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 1446(c)(1), a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Nov. 17 in remanding the action to state court (Travis B. Holman, et al. v. Coventry Health & Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-0886, W.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190903).

  • December 1, 2017

    Illinois Panel Affirms Judgment For Insurer, Dismisses Appeal Of Bad Faith Claim

    CHICAGO — The First District Illinois Appellate Court, Sixth Division, on Nov. 17 affirmed a trial court’s ruling in favor of an insurer on a breach of contract claim but dismissed the insured’s appeal as it pertained to the trial court’s ruling on the bad faith claim because the insured failed to cite any legal authority in her brief regarding the bad faith claim (Carolyn Anderson v. Allstate Indemnity Co., No. 1-16-2043, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2357).

  • December 1, 2017

    Montana Federal Magistrate: Bad Faith Suit Should Be Remanded For Lack Of Diversity

    BILLINGS, Mont. — A Montana federal magistrate judge on Nov. 8 recommended that an insured’s motion to remand its bad faith suit against its insurer be granted because complete diversity of citizenship is lacking (Hochhalter Inc. v. Diamond State Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-30, D. Mont., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195258).

  • November 30, 2017

    No Evidence Offered To Support Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims, Federal Judge Says

    SHERMAN, Texas — Because insureds failed to offer evidence supporting their claims for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of an insurer’s denial of coverage for a water damage claim, a Texas federal judge on Nov. 29 granted the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Jon and Leslie Young v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co., No. 17-87, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196094).

  • November 30, 2017

    Idaho Supreme Court Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling In Bad Faith Suit

    BOISE, Idaho — In a split opinion, a majority of justices on the Idaho Supreme Court on Nov. 29 ruled that a state trial court did not err in granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit arising out of a claim for underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits because an insured failed to provide the necessary facts to support the “fairly debatable element” of her claim (Peggy Cedillo v. Farmers Insurance Co. of Idaho, No. 43890 2017, Idaho Sup., 2017 Ida. LEXIS 314).

  • November 28, 2017

    Specific Matter Exclusion Bars Coverage For Alleged Scheme, Federal Judge Rules

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Nov. 16 held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify against underlying lawsuits alleging that an insured’s directors and officers participated in a scheme to transfer encumbered properties to their relatives while avoiding banks' interests in the properties (Ocean Towers Housing Corporation v. Evanston Insurance Co., No. 15-6461, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190738).

  • November 28, 2017

    Disability Income Insurer Must Produce Documents Pertaining To Claims Decision

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Following an in camera review, an Ohio federal magistrate judge on Nov.  27 granted an insured’s motion to compel the production of seven documents after determining that the documents will help to determine whether the insurer acted in bad faith in its handling of the insured’s disability income claim (Mukesh R. Shah, M.D. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., et al., No.  16-1124, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194347).

  • November 28, 2017

    New Mexico Federal Judge Says Bifurcation Of Bad Faith Counterclaims Is Warranted

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge on Nov. 22 granted an insurer’s motion to bifurcate and stay discovery of extracontractual claims because the interests of judicial economy and judicial efficiency favor bifurcation as the bad faith counterclaim alleged against the life insurer is dependent upon the outcome of the insurer’s declaratory judgment claim (New York Life Insurance Co. v. Roger Saul, et al., No. 17-621, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193210).

  • November 28, 2017

    Bad Faith Claim Cannot Be Adjudicated Until After Contract Claim Is Resolved

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — A bad faith claim stemming from an auto insurance dispute must be dismissed because the claim cannot be adjudicated until after the breach of contract claim is resolved, a Florida federal judge said Nov. 27 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss (James Robert Wadsworth, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 17-502, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194254).

  • November 22, 2017

    3rd Circuit Affirms Ruling In Favor Of Insurer In Superstorm Sandy Dispute

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 17 affirmed a district court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute after determining that the insurer fulfilled the requirements of accord and satisfaction when it sent its insureds a check representing payment for the insureds’ losses (Anna Cranmer, et al. v. Harleysville Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1596, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23187).

  • November 9, 2017

    Texas Panel: Insurer Was Properly Granted Judgment On Bad Faith Claims

    SAN ANTONIO — The Fourth District Texas Court of Appeals on Nov. 8 affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment to an insurer on the insured’s common-law bad faith claim after determining that the insured failed to offer evidence of an extreme act that caused an injury that was independent of the insured’s breach of contract claim (Oscar Ortiz v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 04-17-00252, Texas App., 4th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 10395).

  • November 17, 2017

    Judge: Amount In Controversy In Bad Faith Suit Does Not Exceed Statutory Limit

    LAS VEGAS — An insurer has failed to show that an insured’s damages sought in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit exceed the $75,000 statutory threshold, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Nov. 9 in remanding that action to state court (Aurora Garcia v. Standard Insurance Co., No. 17-858, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185891).