SAN ANTONIO — The Fourth District Texas Court of Appeals on July 8 determined that a trial court abused its discretion in refusing to sever and abate an insured’s bad faith claims in a dispute over underinsured motorist benefits because the contractual claim must be decided before the extracontractual claims (In re Progressive County Mutual Insurance Co., No. 04-20-00178-CV, Texas App., 4th Dist., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 4980).
GREEN BAY, Wis. — A Wisconsin federal judge on July 8 provided an insured with additional time to submit evidence in support of a motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract and bad faith suit arising out of the collapse of a roof on the insured’s summer cabin (Nigel Groves v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co. S.I., No. 19-1453, E.D. Wis., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119553).
SEATTLE — An insured’s breach of contract and bad faith claims against a professional liability insurer cannot proceed because no coverage is afforded under the professional liability policy for a grievance filed against the insured lawyer by the Washington State Bar Association, a Washington federal judge said July 7 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Jenny Cochrane et al., v. American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co., No. 19-1253, W.D. Wash., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119089).
TAMPA, Fla. — An assignee’s bad faith claim alleged against an auto insurer cannot proceed because the assignee failed to prove that there was an excess judgment entered against the insured, a necessary prerequisite to a bad faith claim, a Florida federal judge said July 2 (Ambar Pratt v. Government Employees Insurance Co., No. 18-1607, M.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116508).
SAN FRANCISCO — The owners of two San Francisco restaurants have failed to state any claim for relief in arguing that their insurer breached the terms of a commercial property insurance policy and acted in bad faith when it denied coverage for losses the restaurants suffered as a result of stay-at-home orders issued in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic because they have failed to sufficiently show that their losses fall within the policies’ business income or civil authority additional coverages, the insurer argues in a June 29 motion to dismiss in California federal court (Nari Suda LLC v. Oregon Mutual Insurance Co., No. 20-3057, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge erred in allowing a commercial general liability insurer to enforce its policy’s deductible coverage endorsement because enforcing the endorsement in the data privacy coverage dispute ignores the plan language of the policy, the insured contends in a May 18 brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 19-16475, 9th Cir.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A reinsurer in a July 2 reply brief argues that an Alabama federal court should dismiss an insurer’s bad faith claim because Alabama courts “have been loathe to extend the doctrine” in the years since recognizing a tort cause of action for bad faith (Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 20-300, M.D. Ala.).
NEW YORK — A New York Supreme Court justice on June 15 determined that a disability claimant’s bad faith claim must be dismissed because the claim is duplicative of the breach of contract claim; however, the claimant’s consumer fraud claim can proceed because the claimant alleged facts in support of his allegation that the insurer concealed its reasons for denying benefits (John Hunt M.D. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 650718/2019, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2020 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2814).
PHILADELPHIA — A property insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith in using a pollution exclusion to deny coverage for business interruption and extra expenses arising out of the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, an insured contends in a June 24 complaint filed in Pennsylvania court (Fegley Management & Energy, LLC, et al. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., et al., No. 200601426, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel on July 1 denied a homeowners insurer’s petition to rehear its reversal of a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurer on insureds’ bad faith and punitive damages claims after finding that it cannot determine that it is undisputed that the insurer’s basis for denying the insureds’ supplemental wildfire damage claims was reasonable (Leonard Fadeeff, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. A155691, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 2).
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A New York federal magistrate judge on June 18 denied an insured’s motion to amend an answer to add a new cross-claim based on the property insurer’s alleged bad faith failure to indemnify the insured for a judgment in an underlying personal injury suit because the motion to amend was not timely filed (Michely J. Perez v. Foremost Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-997, W.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106815).
ATLANTA — A federal district court did not err in dismissing a claimant’s insurance breach of contract and bad faith claims against a disability insurer because the claims were time-barred under Delaware’s three-year statute of limitations provision, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 30 in a per curiam opinion (Douglas Kuber v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 19-80151, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 20371).
RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia federal judge on June 29 partially granted an insured’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the term “decay” as used in a policy’s collapse provision is ambiguous (Derbyshire Baptist Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 19-731, E.D. Va., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113346).
BOSTON — An operator of day care centers sued its commercial property insurance provider in Massachusetts federal court on June 29, alleging that the insurer breached its contract with the insured and acted in bad faith in failing to provide business interruption coverage after the day care centers were forced to limit their business operations to families of first responders in response to the commonwealth’s implementation of a stay-at-home order in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic (Pakachoag Acres Day Care Center Inc. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 20-40083, D. Mass.).
PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia restaurants on June 19 sued their insurers for breach of contract and bad faith in a Pennsylvania court, contending that they “have had to incur expenses in cleaning up the pollution and contamination caused by the novel coronavirus and this clean-up continues to the present and likely will continue into the foreseeable future” (The Marathon Grill Inc., et al. v. State Automobile Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 200600918, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Connecticut judge on June 5 granted an auto insurer’s motion to strike two bad faith claims after determining that the insured failed to sufficiently allege that the auto insurer’s failure to pay an uninsured motorist claim was done in bad faith or was the result of an improper motive (Haggai Lherisson v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Co., No. CV196085707S, Conn. Super., 2020 Conn. Super. LEXIS 617).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on June 22 granted an estate’s motion to file a jury demand in a bad faith suit after determining that the auto insurer failed to prove that it will be prejudiced by the late request (Government Employees Insurance Co. v. Diane Saco, et al., Nos. 12-5633, 15-634, E.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108931).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Dismissal of insureds’ claims for homeowners insurance coverage in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit stemming from a home fire is warranted because the insureds have failed to sufficiently state a cause of action for any of their claims, an insurer argues in a June 25 motion to dismiss filed in Florida federal court (Nick Maounis, et al. v. AIG Property Casualty Co., No. 20-80730, S.D. Fla.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An insurer argues in a June 25 brief that an Alabama federal court should deny a reinsurer’s request to dismiss claims for bad faith refusal to pay and “decline to create an exception that preemptively absolves reinsurers from bad faith claims” (Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 20-300, M.D. Ala.).
HOUSTON — A homeowners insurer owes no coverage for the collapse of a home’s joists as a result of termite and rot damage because there was no entire collapse of the home as required by the policy, a Texas federal judge said June 24 (Beatrice Stewart v. Metropolitan Lloyds Insurance Company of Texas, No. 19-5008, S.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111527).