NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 8 determined that a disability claimant’s allegations of bad faith and fraud must be dismissed because the claimant failed to provide sufficient facts in support of the claims (Steven Javie v. Massachusetts Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-2748, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133123).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A bad faith claim alleged against a disability insurer can proceed because questions of fact exist as to whether the insurer’s termination of long-term disability benefits was unreasonable and as to whether the bad faith claim is subject to the applicable two-year statute of limitations, a California federal judge said Aug. 2 in denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Stephanie Jensen v. Dearborn National Life Insurance Co., No. 17-7320, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129835).
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 2 reversed a district court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an auto insurer after determining that a reasonable fact finder could find that the insurer breach its contract and acted in bad faith in limiting the duration of coverage for a rental car following the appraisal of the insureds’ vehicle that was totaled in a car accident (Kyle Stechert, et al. v. The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-2305, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23243).
NEW YORK — The Rockefeller University on Aug. 4 sued its primary and excess commercial general liability insurers in the New York County Supreme Court for breach of contract, bad faith and deceptive business practices and sought a declaration as to coverage for several hundred underlying claims alleging that its former employee sexually abused children for a span of 40 years (The Rockefeller University v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Company, et al., No. 654425/2019, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
BALTIMORE — A homeowners insurer is not entitled to summary judgment on an insured’s claims of breach of contract and bad faith because issues of fact exist regarding whether additional coverage is owed for water and mold damages in the insured home, a Maryland federal judge said Aug. 1 (William Jackson v. The Standard Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-1612, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129884).
NEW ORLEANS — A church insured recently asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in its lawsuit alleging that the insurer breached the contract and acted in bad faith when it replaced roofing materials with lesser quality materials after the insured's property sustained hail and windstorm damage to its roof (University Baptist Church of Fort Worth v. Lexington Insurance Company, 18-11415, 5th Cir.).
SEATTLE — A homeowner’s suit alleging claims for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of property damages caused by a burglary is barred by a policy’s 12-month suit limitation clause, a Washington federal judge said July 31 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Annelise Farnes v. Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 18-1882, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128350).
DALLAS — A Texas appellate panel on July 18 affirmed a state trial court’s judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured failed to preserve her issue on appeal by filing an objection in the trial court (Sherica Redrick v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 05-18-00190, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 6179).
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — An insured’s claims for breach of contract and bad faith cannot stand because the auto insurer did not breach its contract by paying a reduced amount for medical charges incurred by the insured, a North Carolina federal judge said July 30 (Crystal Grimes, et al. v. Government Employees Insurance Co., No. 18-798, M.D. N.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126618).
RICHMOND, Va. — In an insurance bad faith action against an insurer for its failure to defend an insured in a construction defect action, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 25 remanded to a district court for instructions in accordance with the South Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling that “denying liability and/or asserting good faith in the answer does not, standing alone,” waive attorney-client privilege for claim files addressing the insurer’s reinsurance and reserves (In re: Mt. HawleyInsuranceCo., No. 18-1401, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22356).
MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin federal judge on July 30 denied a homeowners insurer’s request to bifurcate an insured’s breach of contract claim from bad faith claims after determining that bifurcation would delay the resolution of the lawsuit filed after a dispute arose regarding coverage for fire damages to the insured’s home (Jennifer Reno v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 19-387, W.D. Wis., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126555).
PADUCAH, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on July 29 denied a commercial property insurer’s motion on an insured’s bad faith claim after determining that the claim is not barred simply because the insured’s breach of contract claim is barred by the policy’s two-year contractual limitations provision (David Miller, d/b/a World Famous Libby’s, v. Seneca Specialty Insurance Co. Inc., No. 18-054, W.D. Ky., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125792).
SCRANTON, Pa. — A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on July 19 recommended denying an auto insurer’s motion to dismiss a bad faith claim without prejudice after determining that the insureds’ allegations at this stage of the litigation are sufficient to support the claim (Joseph Vadella, et al. v. American States Insurance Co., No. 19-73, M.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121606).
CHICAGO —A real estate services firm insured on July 17 sued its first-level excess professional liability insurer in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for breach of contract and bad faith in a coverage dispute over an underlying fraudulent misrepresentation suit regarding a real estate appraisal the insured generated 13 years ago (Cushman & Wakefield of Pennsylvania v. Illinois National Insurance Company, No. 19-04790, N.D. Ill.).
MISSOULA, Mont. — A federal magistrate judge in Montana on July 23 ruled that the court lacks specific and general jurisdiction over an insured’s claims against a provider of medical bill review services to automobile insurance companies and several doctors that work for the provider in an insurance bad faith lawsuit (James C. Garner v. USAA General Indemnity Co., et al., No. 19-59, D. Mont., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122628).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Insureds who allege that their auto insurer acted in bad faith and breached its contract in handling two separate auto accident claims presented sufficient evidence in support of their claims, a California federal judge said July 24 in denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Gina Armas, et al. v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-6909, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123690).
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 24 reversed and remanded a lower court’s finding that a professional liability insurance policy’s faulty workmanship exclusion precluded coverage for a lawsuit alleging that the insured poorly designed and constructed a fisheries enhancement project and the court’s grant of summary judgment on the insured’s claim of statutory bad faith but affirmed the dismissal of the insured’s common-law bad faith claim (Rockhill Insurance Company v. CFI-Global Fisheries Management, et al., Nos. 18-1201 & No. 18-1207, 10th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22049).
PHILADELPHIA — Parties in an insurance bad faith lawsuit stemming from an automobile accident recently asked a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel to determine whether a federal judge erred in precluding an insured from providing testimony from her expert witness and whether the judge provided “confusing and erroneous” jury instructions as to the insured’s burden of proof (Maria Antonio v. Progressive Insurance Co., No. 19-1074, 3rd Cir.).
PHOENIX — A federal judge in Arizona on July 11 ruled that insureds have failed to show that their primary and excess liability insurers acted in bad faith in bringing an action against the insureds seeking a declaration that they are not entitled to coverage under the terms of their policies because the insureds failed to show that the insurers’ “conduct was unreasonable or reckless” (Pacific Indemnity Co., et al. v. Joseph Baldino, et al., No. 16-3841, D. Ariz., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116394).
PHOENIX — An auto insurer met its burden of proving that the amount in controversy exceeds the federal minimum requirement of $75,000 and that the bad faith damages sought by the insureds should be included in the calculation of the amount in controversy, an Arizona federal judge said July 18 in denying the insureds’ motion to remand (Chris Love et al., v. Safeco Insurance Co. et al., No. 19-3118, D. Ariz., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119602).