TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Oct. 15 ruled that a federal district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over an insured’s insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against her auto insurer because the amount in controversy requirement for diversity of citizenship in the lawsuit has not been met (Rhonda Hargrove-Davis v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, No. 18-923, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176385).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Oct. 12 held that issues of fact preclude summary judgment as to whether a commercial general liability insurer acted in bad faith in its claims handling of underlying class actions filed against Yahoo! Inc. over its practice of scanning the content of emails (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 17-00489, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176115).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Insureds are not entitled to recover emotional distress damages as a result of an insurer’s alleged bad faith handling of their claim for water damages because the insureds suffered no physical injury that would entitle them to such damages under New Mexico law, a New Mexico federal judge said Oct. 10 (Hector Fava, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp., No. 17-456, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175153).
EL PASO, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Oct. 9 granted an insured’s motion to compel production of the insurer’s claim investigation file regarding one of the insured’s properties for which coverage was provided after determining that the file is relevant to the insured’s claims that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying coverage for another of the insured’s properties that was damaged on the same day by the same storm (Gary B. Crossland d/b/a Gold Cross Properties v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 18-85, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173878).
TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 9 ruled that insureds in a homeowners insurance dispute failed to show that their insurer acted in bad faith in denying their claim for coverage because the insurer relied on information provided by two engineers showing that property damage to the home was not covered under the insurance policy (Natalie Orban, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 16-3050, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173212).
DENVER — A Colorado chief federal judge on Sept. 18 denied an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, finding that at the very least, there is a genuine dispute of fact regarding whether the insurer suffered any prejudice by the insured’s late notice of its hail damage claim (Hiland Hills Townhouse Owners Association, Inc. v. Owners Insurance Company, No. 17-1773, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160024).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 9 denied an insured’s petition for writ of certiorari, refusing to review the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in an insurance bad faith suit under the precedent set by the Supreme Court in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins (David Duncan v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 18-108, U.S. Sup.).
AUSTIN, Texas — An insured recently told the Texas Supreme Court that its lawsuit seeking recourse against its insurer pursuant to the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (TPPCA) is important to the state’s jurisprudence because it invites the high court to explain how the principles of USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Menchaca apply when an insurer invokes appraisal after the onset of litigation (Barbara Technologies Corporation v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17-0640, Texas Sup.).
SALYERSVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky state jury on Sept. 28 entered a $14.3 million punitive damages verdict against an insurer after determining that the insurer acted in bad faith in refusing to provide coverage to its insured, an energy company accused of trespassing on Kentucky property owners’ lands to extract natural gas (Lahoma Salyer, et al. v. J.D. Carty Resources, et al., No. 07-00006, Ky. Cir., Magoffin Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — An insured’s bad faith claim cannot be sustained against the parent company of a homeowners insurer because the insured failed to prove that the parent company acted in bad faith in the handling of her claim for water damages, a California federal judge said Oct. 3 (Tam Vu v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-3594, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171347).
STAMFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut judge on Sept. 10 ruled that an insured failed to sufficiently plead allegations that her automobile insurance provider acted in bad faith in failing to properly investigate and evaluate her claim for coverage after an automobile accident with an underinsured motorist (Jessica Calorossi v. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. FSTCV176032926S, Conn. Super, Stamford-Norwalk Dist., 2018 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2249).
PHOENIX — A workers’ compensation claimant’s bad faith claim cannot stand because the claimant failed to obtain a compensability determination from the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) before filing suit against the insurer, an Arizona federal judge said Sept. 30 (Bernard Higgins v. XL Insurance America Inc., No. 17-582, D. Ariz., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168968).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas federal judge on Sept. 25 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after rejecting the assignee’s counterclaims that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by failing to hire competent counsel to represent insureds in an underlying negligence case arising out of a vehicular homicide accident (Progressive Northwestern Insurance Co. v. Gabriel Gant, No. 15-9267, D. Kan., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163624
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 26 held that because of conflicting evidence in the record, there is a genuine issue of fact regarding the cause of insureds’ floor damage following an August 2016 rainfall in East Baton Rouge Parish, denying dueling motions for summary judgment on breach of contract claims against a homeowners insurer and a federal flood insurer (Eric Graham, et al. v. Republic Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-00505, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166934).
TAMPA, Fla. — A bad faith claim filed by an insured against an auto insurer is premature because the insured’s auto coverage claim has yet to be resolved, a Florida federal judge said Oct. 2 in dismissing the claim without prejudice (Rhonda Hargrove-Davis v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, No. 18-923, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169775).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1 denied a petition for writ of certiorari, refusing to review the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision to vacate a $4.6 million judgment entered against an auto insurer in an assignee’s breach of contract suit arising out of the insurer’s refusal to defend its insured in an underlying negligence suit (Shannon Hyland, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 18-24, U.S. Sup.).
GALVESTON, Texas — An insured’s claims alleging violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing against an insurer will be abated until the insured’s claim for breach of contract is decided, a Texas federal judge said Sept. 25 (Sandford F. Holmesly v. Progressive Insurance Co., No. 17-317, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163950).
SAN DIEGO — An insured sufficiently stated a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress but failed to sufficiently state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress against his auto insurer, which allegedly handled his underinsured motorist benefits claim in bad faith, a California federal judge said Sept. 25 (Russell Kane v. United Services Automobile Association, et al., No. 17-2581, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164605).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — An insured sufficiently stated a timely claim for insurance bad faith within Ohio’s four-year statute of limitations but failed to sufficiently state claims for insurance breach of contract or unfair trade practices against his automobile insurance provider, a federal judge in Ohio ruled Sept. 21 (Charles F. Harsh v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 17-0814, S.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162032).
NEW YORK — In seeking to dismiss a New York federal court case alleging breach of policies by unlawful increase of premium costs to recoup costs associated with an acquisition, a life insurer argues on Sept. 21 that the plaintiffs’ claims do not arise out of specific business activities in New York (Derek Fan, et al. v. Phoenix Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-01288, S.D. N.Y.).