ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An insurer is not entitled to summary judgment on a bad faith claim alleged by insureds who maintain that they are entitled to coverage for water damage because the insureds presented sufficient facts from which a jury could find that the insurer’s coverage denial was made in bad faith, a New Mexico federal judge said Dec. 20 (Hector Fava, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp., No. 17-456, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215009).
SAN FRANCISCO — A disability insurer did not issue a final denial of a claim for total disability benefits, a California federal judge said Jan. 4 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract and bad faith suit filed by an insured (Sunil Srinivasan, DDS v. Continental Assurance Co., et al., No. 18-4371, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1894).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Dec. 20 dismissed without prejudice a man’s lawsuit accusing his father’s long-term care insurance provider of unlawfully canceling his policy for failure to pay his annual premium, explaining that claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty are untimely and should be amended (Kesav Dama v. Prudential Life Insurance Company of America, No. 18-cv-03104, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215738).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Jan. 3 dismissed an insurance adjuster from a water damage coverage dispute because the insureds failed to present any authority that the adjuster could be held individually liable for acts committed within the scope of her employment with the insurer (Robin L. Dobbel, et al., v. Liberty Insurance Corp., et al., No. 17-2114, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 218207).
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Dec. 10 dismissed a disability claimant’s bad faith claim after determining that the claim is barred by the applicable two-year statute of limitations because accrual of the bad faith claim began when the insurer issued its initial benefits determination and not when the insurer issued its decision on appeal (Frank L. Pavel v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 18-1778, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209019).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Dec. 26 primarily denied a motion to dismiss class claims filed after an insurer raised life insurance premiums, ruling that dismissal was appropriate only as to a portion of the plaintiff’s breach of contract claim and a portion of the elder abuse claim (Gail Thompson, et al. v. Transamerica Life Insurance Company, No. 18-5422, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 216312).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 11 ruled that remand of an insurance bad faith lawsuit to state court is unwarranted because the amount in controversy exceeds the statutory limits, thus providing the court with original jurisdiction (Esther Nicophene v. Hartford Insurance Co. of the Southeast, No. 18-2565, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208894).
WHEELING, W.Va. — A federal judge in West Virginia on Dec. 6 ruled that a plaintiff in an insurance bad faith lawsuit lacked the necessary standing to bring her claims against an automobile insurance provider and failed to allege any claim for insurance coverage under common law or a statute (Douglas Sarcopski, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-41, N.D. W.Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205801).
LAS VEGAS — A federal judge in Nevada remanded an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit back to state court on Dec. 19, ruling that he lacks the necessary jurisdiction over the action (Keith Cavanaugh v. Safeco Insurance Co. of Illinois, No. 18-379, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 213320).
COLUMBUS, Ga. — An insurer did not act in bad faith in filing a declaratory judgment action against its insurer and a third party seeking a determination of whether the insurer owed its insured any obligation under the terms of a personal catastrophe liability endorsement in the insured’s homeowners/motor vehicle insurance policy, a federal judge in Georgia ruled Dec. 11 in granting the insurer’s voluntary motion to dismiss the action (Unitrin Auto & Home Insurance Co. v. Kendall Cochran, et al., No. 17-240, M.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208222).
DENVER — A 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 18 ruled that a federal district court did not err in granting an insurer’s summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the insurer had “an objectively reasonable basis to deny” its insured’s request for coverage for roof and interior damage after a wind storm (Billy Hamilton v. Northfield Insurance Co., Nos. 17-7049 and 17-7055, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 35393).
SCRANTON, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Dec. 12 ruled that an insured has failed to sufficiently plead her claim for statutory bad faith against her automobile insurance provider because the claim is “premised largely on bare-bones conclusory allegations which are not sufficient to state a bad faith claim” (Lauren Antidormi Moran v. United Services Automobile Association [USAA], No. 18-2085, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209315).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Dec. 17 ruled that an insured failed to sufficiently plead facts supporting her claim that her insurer acted in bad faith in failing to pay some medical benefits for claims made under her automobile insurance policy (Toni Leigh Phillips v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 18-1672, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211729).
ATLANTA — A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting that it erred in allowing certain evidence in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit and granting a new trial in the action, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 14 (Joshua Moore v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 17-13655, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 35196).
NEW YORK — With a settlement pending between two insurers and Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. over asbestos insurance coverage, the debtor tells a New York federal bankruptcy judge in a Dec. 13 filing that allowing summary judgment motions on two issues will go a long way toward resolving the rest of the case against the only remaining insurer defendant (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
SEATTLE — In a dispute over coverage for construction defects to a mixed-use condominium building, a Washington appeals panel on Dec. 10 reversed dismissal of an additional insured’s duty to defend and bad faith claims against one commercial general liability insurer but affirmed dismissal of the same claims against two other CGL insurers (Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Ledcor Industries [USA] Inc., et al., No. 76405-5-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2018 Wash. App. LEXIS 2769).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Nov. 29 remanded an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court, ruling that an insured’s state law claims do not arise under the Medicare Act and that the insured failed to show that federal question jurisdiction exists (Rosalie Vaccarino v. Aetna Inc., et al., No. 18-2349, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202672).
DENVER — In an original proceeding pursuant to state appellate rules, the Colorado Supreme Court on Nov. 5 ruled that a state trial court’s order in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit requiring an insured to undergo an independent medical examination (IME) at the request of her insurer was in error because the insurer’s alleged bad faith “must be evaluated based on the evidence before it” (Charissa Schultz v. GEICO Casualty Co., No. 18SA135, Colo. Sup., 2018 Colo. LEXIS 904).
HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut judge on Nov. 7 ruled that although an insured failed to sufficiently plead claims for insurance bad faith and violations of Connecticut’s unfair trade practices and unfair insurance practices laws, he has sufficiently alleged facts supporting his claims for breach of contract against his automobile insurance provider (Alan Robinshaw v. Foremost Insurance Co., No. HHDCV176082231S, Conn. Super., Hartford Dist., 2018 Conn. Super. LEXIS 3792).
ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging violation of a noncompetition covenant (Robert Mau, et al. v. Twin City Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-3392, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34358).