NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 18 transferred a breach of contract and bad faith suit to Pennsylvania federal court because the auto policy at issue contains a forum-selection clause that designates Pennsylvania as the venue where suits against the insurer must be filed (Janine Banks v. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-17117, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158894).
SALT LAKE CITY — A bad faith claim alleged against an employee’s commercial auto insurer can proceed because the employee’s claim qualifies as a first-party bad faith claim and not a third-party bad faith claim, a Utah federal judge said Sept. 16 after determining that the insurer agreed to pay claims submitted to it for the employee’s losses (Timothy Marc v. Traveler Commercial Insurance Co. et al., No. 17-1193, D. Utah, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159055).
PIERRE, S.D. — A trial court correctly concluded that a workers’ compensation insurer did not act in bad faith in pursuing an appeal of a workers’ compensation award entered in favor of an insured claimant because the claimant failed to prove that the insurer’s decision to appeal the award was unreasonable, the South Dakota Supreme Court said Sept. 11 (Christina Blanchard v. Mid-Century Insurance Co., et al., No. 28652, S.D. Sup., 2019 S.D. LEXIS 84).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on Sept. 17 dismissed an assignee’s bad faith claim in an auto coverage dispute after determining that the assignee failed to present sufficient facts in support of the bad faith claim and failed to allege any facts that are different from the facts underpinning the breach of contract claim (Maria R. Lohnes a/s/o Christopher Terrance v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 19-68, N.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158174).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — In a coverage dispute following settlement of a construction defects case, a South Carolina federal judge on Sept. 16 granted summary judgment to a commercial general liability insurer on an assignee’s breach of contract claim but denied judgment to the insurer on the bad faith claim (Summer Wood Property Owners Association Inc. v. Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-3504, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157353).
PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on Sept. 16 remanded an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith suit arising out of a fire caused by the insured’s operation of a home drug lab after determining that there is no evidence that the insured acted in bad faith by preventing the insurer from removing the suit for more than a year (Anthony Russo v. Stillwater Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-4896, D. Ariz., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157638).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sanctions are warranted against an insured in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit brought pursuant to a homeowners insurance dispute because the insured made an intolerable “about-face” in first arguing that he was not seeking additional living expenses and then later stating during discovery that he, in fact, was seeking such damages, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 13 (Edward Royce Stolz II v. Travelers Commercial Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-1923, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157096).
TRENTON, N.J. — An insurer on Aug. 27 removed to a New Jersey federal court a breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing lawsuit regarding the insurers’ handling of payments for underlying asbestos claims and the indemnification the insurers sought under facultative reinsurance agreements (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, et al. v. The North River Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-17231, D. N.J.).
LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on Sept. 11 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in favor of an insurer after determining that an insured’s claims for breach of contract, bad faith and unfair claims practices cannot proceed because no coverage is afforded for an online scam perpetrated against the insured (Sanderina LLC, et al. v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 18-772, D. Nev., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154760).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania trial court did not err in granting an insurer’s summary judgment motion in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because it properly held that a life insurance policy was not in effect when its named insured died, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel ruled Sept. 11 (Alissa O’Hara v. MetLife Insurance Company USA, et al., No. 3477 EDA 2018, Pa. Super., 2019 Pa. Super. LEXIS 3456).
SEATTLE — An insured’s breach of contract and bad faith suit against an auto insurer must be remanded to state court because it is clear that the amount in controversy does not exceed the federal jurisdictional minimum of $75,000, a Washington federal judge said Sept. 10 (Robyn Brooks v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 19-5630, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154195).
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on Sept. 10 dismissed an employer’s complaint seeking a finding that its short-term disability (STD) plan is not governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the issue already was decided by the director of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries and cannot be relitigated in federal court (Phillips 66 Co., et al., v. Joel Sacks, et al., No. 19-174, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154155).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A federal magistrate judge in North Carolina on Sept. 10 recommended that motions to dismiss filed by defendants in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit be granted because the claimants have failed to show that personal jurisdiction exists over two of the defendants and have failed to state a claim for relief against a third (Brigette Kiza, et al. v. Universal Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-136, W.D. N.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153688).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 9 dismissed a bad faith claim against an auto insurer after determining that the insureds failed to allege specific facts in support of the claim; however, the judge granted the insureds leave to amend the complaint to assert facts in support of the claim (Jason J. Ream, et al. v. Nationwide Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 19-768, W.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152870).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on Sept. 9 determined that a bad faith claim can proceed in a disability and life insurance dispute because the plaintiffs seeking benefits under the policies sufficiently alleged facts to support the bad faith claim (Douglas Kuber v. Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, No. 19-80211, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154379).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 10 affirmed a lower federal court's summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in a church insured’s lawsuit alleging that the insurer breached the policy 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, No. 18-11415, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 27307).
SAN FRANCISCO — An insured recently asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of her automobile insurer, arguing that “justice requires reversal and remand” for a trier of fact to determine questions of fact (Lorene McCall v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, No. 18-16622, 9th Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware Superior Court judge on Aug. 27 granted certification of four claimant classes in an insurance bad faith class action against GEICO General Insurance Co., ruling that the claimants have sufficiently shown that the classes meet all necessary statutory requirements (Yvonne Green, et al. v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. N17C-03-242, Del. Super., 2019 Del. Super. LEXIS 405).
INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge in Indiana on Sept. 4 ruled that dismissal of an insured’s bad faith claim against its specialty insurance provider for losses to its solar energy generation projects in a building fire is not proper because the insured has sufficiently pleaded factual allegations to support the claim (HMV Indy I LLC v. HSB Specialty Insurance Co., No. 19-1148, S.D. Ind., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149969).
RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia federal judge on Aug. 29 dismissed breach of contract and bad faith claims alleged against a long-term care insurer after determining that the insurer did not breach any of the provision of its policies because it did not fail to disclose information about premium increases (Jerome Skochin, et al. v. Genworth Life Insurance Co., No. 19-49, E.D. Va., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148636).