HAMMOND, Ind. — An Indiana federal judge on March 19 denied a life insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings after determining that a surviving spouse who is seeking benefits for her husband’s death caused by huffing vapors from compressed air duster canisters has alleged sufficient facts at this stage of the litigation to allow the bad faith claim to proceed (Jill Mims v. Minnesota Life Insurance Co., No. 18-21, N.D. Ind., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45465).
SAN FRANCISCO — A district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of an auto insurer because a genuine issue of material fact existed regarding coverage for an insured’s injuries sustained in an auto accident, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said March 18 (Michael Sekera v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 17-56587, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 7968).
LAS VEGAS — A plaintiff who is seeking underinsured motorist coverage under an auto policy is permitted to amend a complaint to add facts in support of her allegations for unfair claims practices and bad faith, a Nevada federal judge said March 19 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss the claims (Diana Rosas v. GEICO Casualty Co., No. 18-1200, D. Nev., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44487).
SAN FRANCISCO — Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is warranted because insurers have failed to sufficiently show that an insured’s disability insurance policy is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and, thus, have failed to meet their burden of establishing federal subject matter jurisdiction, a federal judge in California ruled March 15 (Laural Jilka v. Unum Group, et al., No. 18-2952, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42949).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas federal judge on March 11 found that professional negligence claim against a land surveyor insured was not made and reported before the expiration of a professional liability insurance policy’s basic extended reporting period, granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Aspen Square, Inc. v. American Automobile Insurance Company, No. 18-2255, D. Kan., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38364).
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Bifurcation of a bad faith claim in a suit seeking a declaration that coverage is owed for an accident that occurred at a motor sports festival is not warranted, a Colorado federal judge said March 16 after determining that any potential cost savings to bifurcation are outweighed by the costs of delays and unnecessary duplication (James Salls v. Secura Insurance, et al., No. 18-370, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43097).
CAMDEN, N.J. — A bad faith claim alleged against an auto insurer accused of improperly adjusting the total loss value of insured vehicles cannot stand because the claim is duplicative of the insureds’ breach of contract claim against the insurer, a New Jersey federal judge said March 14 (Sherry Lewis, et al. v. Government Employees Insurance Co., No. 18-5111, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41403).
PHOENIX — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 12 ruled that it lacks jurisdiction to hear an appeal in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because although a federal district court’s stipulated dismissal of the suit was with prejudice, dismissed claims could be reinstated on remand if the panel were to reverse the lower court’s ruling (Richard Kile v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 15-0380, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 7244).
ST. LOUIS — An insurer and a third-party claims administrator on Feb. 19 responded to an appeal in the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals filed by a woman who was denied insurance coverage for her stay at a nursing home, arguing that a district court’s decision granting their motion for summary judgment should be affirmed because the facility where she was a resident did not meet the requirements of her insurance policy (Leona Van Dusseldorp v. Continental Casualty Co., et al., No. 18-3257, 8th Cir.).
SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah federal judge on March 1 found that an errors and omissions liability insurer has no duty to defend and indemnify its insured against underlying lawsuits brought by investors alleging that they suffered losses on options trading (Allegis Investment Services LLC, et al. v. Arthur Gallagher & Co., et al., No. 17-515, D. Utah, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33328).
ATLANTA — A state appellate court erred in holding that an insurer acted in bad faith in failing to settle a third-party claim for damages resulting from an automobile accident caused by its insured because although the third parties presented the insurer with a valid offer to settle the claim within policy limits, the offer did not include “any deadline for accepting the offer,” the Georgia Supreme Court ruled March 11 (First Acceptance Insurance Co. of Georgia v. Hughes, No. S18G0517, Ga. Sup., 2019 Ga. LEXIS 161).
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 12 dismissed without prejudice an insured’s bad faith claim against an auto insurer after determining that the insured failed to provide any supporting facts regarding how the insurer’s claims handling amounted to bad faith under Pennsylvania law (David A. Krantz v. Peerless Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 18-3450, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38923).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal magistrate judge on March 11 determined that questions of fact preclude summary judgment in favor of an insured on claims of bad faith and unfair claim practices in an auto coverage dispute (Nicolita Montoya v. Loya Insurance Co., No. 18-590, D. N.M., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38493).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in an insurance breach of contact and bad faith lawsuit against an automobile insurance provider because an insured failed to raise an issue of material fact showing that the insurer acted in bad faith in denying coverage under an off-road vehicle exclusion in the policy, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 22 in an nonprecedential memorandum (Jennifer M. Walker v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 17-16102, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 5240).
LOS ANGELES — On remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a federal judge in California on Feb. 26 ruled that no genuine issues of material fact exist showing that an insurer breached its contract or acted in bad faith in refusing to pay benefits under an automobile insurance policy because the Ninth Circuit has “explicitly” held that the insured’s claim for stigma damages was not covered under the policy (James Copelan, et al. v. Infinity Insurance Co., No. 16-1355, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33613).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on March 1 ruled that an insurer has shown that no genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether it acted in bad faith in its handling of an automobile insurance claim with a third party because the third party failed to provide any evidence that the insurer breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing or exposed its insured to excess liability in its handling of the claim (Scott Martin v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-3056, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32644).
PHILADELPHIA — An insured has sufficiently stated a claim for insurance bad faith against its insurer for failure to settle on a claim for coverage for physical loss and property damage under the terms of a rental dwelling property insurance policy, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled March 4 in denying the insurer’s motion to dismiss (1009 Clinton Properties LLC v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 18-5286, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33668).
DENVER — An insurer is entitled to summary judgment on claims alleging bad faith and unreasonable delay in handling a claim for property damages caused by a hailstorm because the insured failed to prove that the insurer acted unreasonably in handling and paying the claim, a Colorado federal judge said Feb. 22 (Wak Inc., d/b/a Marrakech Café v. Ohio Security Insurance Co., No. 16-1191, D. Col., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28518).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 6 refused to dismiss an assignee’s breach of contract and bad faith claims against an insurer in a coverage dispute regarding a $2.4 million settlement over defective concrete used in a bridge construction project (Brayman Construction Corp. v. Westfield Insurance Company Inc., No. 18-CV-00457, W.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36432).
SAN DIEGO — An insured’s motion to remand a complaint alleging claims for breach of contract and bad faith must be denied because the auto insurer’s notice of removal was not untimely filed as the amount in controversy was not clear, a California federal judge said March 5, noting that the complaint did not state the amount of damages being sought by the insured, (Paul Harner v. USAA General Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 18-1993, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 352200).