HAMMOND, Ind. — An insured alleges in a Nov. 5 complaint filed in an Indiana federal court that an insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith when denying coverage based upon a condominium exclusion for cracking damage caused by the insured’s work (Gary Material Supply LLC v. Western World Insurance Group, No. 18-00421, N.D. Ind.).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on Nov. 2 declined review of a state appellate panel’s ruling that a trial court did not err in granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on a claim for bad faith under the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) because the claim was time-barred under the two-year statute of limitations (Alberta Jackson v. Gainsco Inc., et al., No. 17-0138, Texas Sup.).
PHOENIX — A disability claimant’s bad faith claim and request for punitive damages can proceed because the claimant presented an issue of fact as to whether the insurer’s termination of disability benefits was reasonable, an Arizona federal judge said Nov. 1 in denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgement (Kelly Ann Tyler v. United States Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-939, D. Ariz., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187001).
HOUSTON — An insurance company’s claim adjuster was not improperly joined in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit in an effort to defeat federal jurisdiction, a federal judge in Texas ruled Oct. 30 in denying a partial motion to dismiss and remanding the action to state court (Joan Elaine Murray v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-3411, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186462).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A trial court erred in granting an insured’s motion for summary judgment on a bad faith claim because the facts do not show that the insurer unreasonably breached the contract of insurance when it denied coverage for an underlying personal injury claim filed against the insured, the South Carolina Court of Appeals said Oct. 31 (Three Blind Mice LLC, d/b/a The Blind Horse Saloon v. Colony Insurance Co., No. 2018-UP-402, S.C. App., 2018 S.C. App. Unpub. LEXIS 399).
LOS ANGELES — The Second District California Court of Appeal on Oct. 26 affirmed a trial court’s demurrer to an insured’s bad faith suit after determining that the finality of judgments doctrine precludes the insured from challenging the insurer’s behavior before and during an arbitration proceeding because the arbitration award was a final judgment (Haik Kivorkian v. Star Insurance Co., No. B272162, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7300).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Oct. 25 found that a property owner’s loss of the ability to use a property as a nightclub following a fatal shooting constituted property damage under a security guard service provider’s insurance policy, reversing a lower court’s ruling that there is no coverage under the policy (Thee Sombrero, Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Company, No. E067505, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 966).
ALBANY, N.Y. — A majority of a New York appeals court on Oct. 25 held that there is a question of fact regarding whether a doctor’s primary and excess insurers acted in bad faith in failing to settle an underlying medical malpractice lawsuit, reversing and remanding a lower court’s ruling in favor of the insurers and reinstating the bad faith claim against them (Healthcare Professionals Insurance Company v. Michael A. Parentis et al., No. n/a, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 2018 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7187).
LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on Oct. 24 dismissed an insured’s bad faith claims after determining that the insured failed to provide any facts in support of the allegations that the auto insurer acted in bad faith by offering to settle her underinsured motorist claim for benefits for less than the full policy limit (Yvette Rodriguez v. Geico Casualty Co., No. 18-1070, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182228).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on Oct. 24 declined to stay a coverage dispute over a defectively constructed project for an in camera review and instead ordered an insurer to produce documents pertaining to reinsurance and reserves (ContraVest Inc., et al. v. Mt. Hawley Insurance Co., No. 15-00304, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182196).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge on Oct. 18 denied an auto insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment after determining that contrary to the insurer’s contention, New Mexico law does not require medical expert testimony to prove causation in an auto coverage case (Steve P. Shultzaberger v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 17-1028, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180045).
PITTSBURGH — An insurer’s decision to further investigate an insured’s claim for underinsured/uninsured motorist benefits was not in bad faith because only two months had passed from the time the insured filed the claim for coverage and the filing of his insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against the insurer, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Oct. 22 in granting in part and denying in part the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Justin Higman v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Cos., No. 18-0662, W.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180282).
NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 16 dismissed an auto repair company’s breach of contract and bad faith claims against an insurer after determining that the auto repair company failed to state facts in support of its claims that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by failing to fully reimburse the repair company for repairs completed on insureds’ vehicles (Exclusive Auto Collision Center v. Geico Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-13166, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178404).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Homeowners sufficiently raised allegations on whether an insurer acted in good faith in denying their water damages claim and if the insurer breached the contract by failing to investigate the claim, a New Mexico federal judge ruled Oct. 17, denying summary judgment to the insurer on breach of contract claims (Hector Fava, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp., No. 17-456, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179385).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A reinsurer’s motion to dismiss breach of contract, bad faith and fraud claims should be denied, according to a plaintiff’s Oct. 16 brief in an Alabama federal court over the denial of benefits under four long-term disability insurance policies (Horace R. Theriot Jr. v. The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-688, M.D. Ala.).
DETROIT — A Michigan federal judge on Oct. 17 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss its complaint for declaratory judgment after determining that the counterclaims asserted by the insureds are sufficient to decide whether the insurer acted in bad faith by failing to settle an underlying personal injury suit within the policy limits before an excess judgment was entered against the insureds (Wausau Underwriters Insurance Co. v. Reliable Transportation Specialists Inc., et al., No. 15-12954, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178318).
PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on Oct. 17 denied an insured’s motion for summary judgment on a bad faith claim after determining that an insurer’s settlement offer, which was lower than the insured recovered after trial, cannot be the basis of a claim for bad faith (Peggy Foraker v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-87, D. Ore., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178258).
LOS ANGELES — The beneficiaries of a life insurance policy are entitled to benefits because the life insurance policy cannot be considered to have lapsed as the insurer failed to show that it was prejudiced by the insured’s failure to timely notify the insurer of a disability that would have entitled her to a deduction waiver under the policy, the Second District California Court of Appeal said Oct. 16 (Marty Lat v. Farmers New World Life Insurance Co., No. B282008, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 932).
FORT WORTH, Texas — A federal judge overseeing an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit in Texas ruled Oct. 11 that an insured failed to show that its insurer breached any obligation it had under the terms of an insurance policy when it replaced roofing materials with lesser quality materials after the insured’s property sustained hail and windstorm damage to its roof because the insured failed to show that it sustained damages as a result of the alleged breach (University Baptist Church of Fort Worth v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 17-962, N.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175401).
BOISE, Idaho — An insured claims in an Oct. 15 complaint filed in Idaho federal court that its insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying coverage for the contamination of the insured’s sugar caused by an excess of chlorine contained in the water used to liquefy the sugar for the insured’s customers (The Amalgamated Sugar Co. LLC v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 18-448, D. Idaho).