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).
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).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Sept. 4 dismissed a breach of contract and bad faith suit filed against a homeowners insurer after determining that the policy at issue clearly excludes coverage for the deterioration of the insureds’ foundation walls as a result of the use of defective concrete when the home was built (Marianne Gilmore, et al. v. Teachers Insurance Co., No. 18-1856, D. Conn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151006).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Court of Appeals on Sept. 5 determined that a trial court did not err in finding that an insured is not owed uninsured benefits under an auto policy for an assault that occurred at or near an uninsured vehicle; however, the trial court did err in dismissing the insured’s bad faith claim predicated on the auto insurer’s investigation and evaluation of the claim (Matthew Haygood v. United Services Automobile Association, et al., No. A-1-CA-36158, N.M. App., 2019 N.M. App. LEXIS 112).
DENVER — A Colorado federal magistrate judge on Sept. 4 granted an insured’s motion to amend a complaint to add a request for punitive damages in an auto coverage suit because the insured timely filed the motion to amend and the insured offered sufficient facts to support the allegation that the auto insurer’s conduct in denying her claim for underinsured motorist benefits was willful and wanton (Kimberly Argo v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 18-2059, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149966).
MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin federal judge on Aug. 30 granted a homeowners insurer’s motion for a protective order precluding an insured from engaging in discovery on a bad faith claim because the insured failed to provide sufficient facts in support of a breach of contract claim as required under Wisconsin law for discovery to proceed on the bad faith claim (Cody Christopherson v. American Strategic Insurance Corp., No. 19-202, E.D. Wis., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148323).
PHOENIX —An Arizona federal judge on Sept. 4 said claims for breach of contract and bad faith in a water damage coverage suit can proceed because issues of fact exist as to whether additional coverage is afforded under a commercial general liability policy and as to whether the insurer reasonably adjusted the insured’s claim for damages (Adams Craig Acquisitions LLC, et al. v. Atain Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-00817, D. Ariz., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150227).
PHOENIX — A federal judge in Arizona on Aug. 29 ruled that an insured has sufficiently pleaded evidence in support of its claims for insurance bad faith and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing in a homeowners insurance dispute arising from property damage sustained during policy activity at the insured’s home (James W. Denby v. American Family Insurance, No. 17-2648, D. Ariz., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147421).
OKLAHOMA CITY — An insurer failed to show that its actions in handling a claim for coverage under an automobile insurance policy were reasonable, a federal judge ruled Aug. 28 in denying the insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment (Tracey Daniels, et al. v. CSAA General Insurance Co., No. 18-1115, W.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146422).