HAMMOND, Ind. — A federal judge in Indiana on June 18 ruled that a third-party beneficiary lacks standing to bring a claim for insurance bad faith against an automobile insurance provider because she is not a named insured under the insurance policy for which she sought underinsured motorist coverage (Nicole Schweihs v. State Farm Insurance Co., No. 18-140, N.D. Ind., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101475).
SCRANTON, Pa. — A claim of bad faith alleged against a homeowners insurer that allegedly refused to adjust a personal property loss estimate following a fire will proceed because the insureds alleged sufficient facts in support of the claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge said June 20 (James Obelkevich, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, No. 18-1111, M.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103177).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Third Division of the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals on June 18 determined that a trial court did not err in refusing to consider the bad faith claims alleged against an insurer because the trial court correctly determined that it had no jurisdiction based on a mandate issued by the Missouri Supreme Court (Franklin D. Allen v. Atain Specialty Insurance Co., No. WD81677, Mo. App., W.D., Div. 3, 2019 Mo. App. LEXIS 961).
ORLANDO, Fla. — An auto insurer is not entitled to summary judgment on a bad faith claim brought against the insurer by a third-party claimant who was injured by an insured in an auto accident because questions of fact exist regarding the insurer’s assessment of the claimant’s injuries, a Florida federal judge said June 18 (Robyn Holtzapple v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-2026, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101494).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A trial court did not err in bifurcating breach of contract claim from a bad faith claim and other extracontractual claims and did not err in granting an auto insurer’s motion for summary judgment on the breach of contract claim because it is clear that no coverage is afforded for water damage to an insured’s vehicle, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals said June 17 (Maurice Dosso v. Farmers and Mechanics Insurance Cos., et al., No. 17-0664, W.Va. Sup., 2019 W. Va. LEXIS 380).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel on June 17 affirmed that there is no coverage under a homeowners insurance policy's personal injury provision for the discharge of a firearm after a robbery attempt, finding that the victim has failed to present any evidence to create a triable issue of material fact as to whether the first shot in the robbery attempt was intentional (CSAA Insurance Exchange, et al. v. Oscar Herrera, No. A153429, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4061).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A life insurance agent was not fraudulently joined to a putative class action suit filed against an insurer and the agent because the plaintiffs sufficiently alleged that the agent had a special relationship with the plaintiffs and acted in bad faith by selling the plaintiffs policies that were not appropriate for the plaintiffs’ needs, an Alabama federal judge said June 17 (Kee Goostree, et al. v. Liberty National Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-71, N.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100604).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An Alabama federal judge on June 14 denied a motion to remand filed by insureds alleging claims for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of a water and mold damage claim after determining that the insurers produced sufficient evidence showing that the amount in controversy exceeds the federal jurisdictional minimum of $75,000 (Matthew B. Menendez, et al. v. American Strategic Insurance Corp., et al., No. 19-443, N.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99975).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri appeals panel on June 11 reversed a garnishment court’s finding that an insurance policy’s “Classification Limitation” barred coverage for an underlying $5 million judgment arising from a fatal shooting outside of a night club, finding that the garnishment court was not at liberty to decide whether the night club owner was acting on behalf of another business such that the named insured could not be liable for his negligence (Latronya Adams v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London, et al., No. ED106121, Mo App., Eastern Dist., Div. 3, 2019 Mo. App. LEXIS 931).
JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi federal judge on June 12 denied an insured’s motion to remand an insurance breach of contract and bad faith suit arising out of a fire damage claim made under a homeowners policy after determining that complete diversity exists because the insurer’s adjuster is not a proper defendant (Tramon Colenburg v. Amica General Agency LLC, et al., No. 19-24, S.D. Miss., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98564).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Addressing a certified question in an insurance bad faith action against an insurer for its failure to defend an insured in a construction defect action, the South Carolina Supreme Court on June 12 answered in the negative and held that “denying liability and/or asserting good faith in the answer does not, standing alone,” waive the attorney-client privilege for claim files (Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. ContraVest Inc., et al., No. 2018-001170, S.C. Sup., 2019 S.C. LEXIS 53).
OMAHA, Neb. — A reinsurer and its affiliates moved to dismiss counterclaims on June 7 in their breach of contract dispute over a workers’ compensation program, telling a Nebraska federal court that the counterclaims “are a hodgepodge of conclusory allegations and unsupported assertions that fail to meet basic pleading standards” (Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company Inc. v. Ramesh Pitamber & Kusum Pitamber, et al., No. 17-61, D. Neb.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on May 29 signed an order dismissing with prejudice insureds’ lawsuit arising from flood damage one day after the insureds and their insurer announced that they reached a confidential settlement following mediation (Alicia Martin v. CSAA Insurance Exchange, et al., No. 17-04066, N.D. Calif.).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An insured has sufficiently pleaded her claim for bad faith against her automobile insurance provider, and a judge should reject the insurer’s argument that the claim must fail because it presupposes that insurers breached their policy by not paying the insured’s underinsured motorist bodily injury claim, the insured argues in a May 20 opposition brief filed in New Mexico federal court (Yvonne Apodaca v. Young America Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-399, D. N.M.).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 5 determined that an insured’s assignee cannot proceed on claims for breach of contract and bad faith against an airport liability insurer because the policy at issue clearly excluded coverage for the insured’s negligence, which allegedly caused a helicopter to crash (Gary R. Farrar, et al. v. American National Property and Casualty Co., No. 15-1177, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94487).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on June 5 granted a motion to remand a breach of contract and bad faith suit after determining that the business liability insurer failed to prove that the insureds are seeking more than $75,000 for damages incurred to an insured building (Murphy Murphy & Murphy P.C. v. Nationwide Insurance Co., No. 19-0712, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94673).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on June 3 ruled that an insured failed to sufficiently plead that he is entitled to penalties and attorney fees under state law in an insurance bad faith lawsuit stemming from an automobile accident (Jerome Jacobs v. State Farm Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-11126, E.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92272).
RALEIGH, N.C. — A panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals on June 4 reversed a lower court’s order, which upheld the state’s insurance commissioner’s order reversing the North Carolina reinsurance facility’s denial of reimbursement to a motor vehicle insurer for an $11 million bad faith settlement and remanded to the commissioner (The North Carolina Reinsurance Facility v. Mike Causey, et al., No. COA 18-1303, N.C. App., 2019 N.C. App. LEXIS 495).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 3 ruled that an insured has stated only conclusory allegations in support of her claim for statutory bad faith under state law against her automobile insurance provider and has failed to plead any factual allegations to support her claim (Latrisse Pommells v. State Farm Insurance, No. 18-5143, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92435).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on May 31 dismissed a disability claimant’s complaint after determining that the claimant’s breach of contract and bad faith allegations 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 92468).