MOBILE, Ala. — An Alabama federal judge on April 22 remanded an insured’s suit to Alabama federal court after determining that the amount of controversy does not exceed the federal jurisdictional minimum amount of $75,000 (Clinton Albert Holcomb v. Geico Casualty Co., No. 20-0072, S.D. Ala., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70392).
DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on April 22 denied a disability claimant’s motion to remand her breach of contract and bad faith suit after determining that the disability insurer met its burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds the federal jurisdictional minimum of $75,000 (Angela Carney v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 19-3075, D. Colo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70710).
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An Indiana federal judge on April 22 denied a motion for interlocutory appeal in an bad faith suit after determining that there is no controlling question of law regarding the insurer’s negligent failure to settle within policy limits that must be resolved before the case proceeds (The Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Brittany M. Johnson et al., No. 17-86, N.D. Ind., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70321).
PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on April 20 entered a more than $300,000 judgment in favor of an insured and against an auto insurer on a bad faith claim after determining that the insurer forced the insured to initiate litigation to recover the amounts due to her under the auto policy (Peggy Foraker v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-87, D. Ore., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68949).
LOS ANGELES — A disability income insurer properly terminated an insured’s benefits after the insured reached his 65th birthday because the policy provided benefits only until the insured’s 65th birthday and not until the policy expired, a California federal judge said April 20 in granting the insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings (Paul Stull v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., No. 19-1618, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69025).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on April 17 issued three opinions each holding that a lower court erred when it found that an insured could not maintain its claims under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (PPCA) in light of its recent rulings in Barbara Technologies Corp. v. State Farm Lloyds and Ortiz v. State Farm Lloyds reversing and remanding the lower courts’ rulings in favor of insurers on the insureds’ PPCA claims arising from wind and hail property damage (Steven Biasatti, et al. v. GuideOne National Insurance Company, et al., No. 18-0911, 2020 Tex. LEXIS 319, Juan Alvarez v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 18-0127, 2020 Tex. LEXIS 318, and Roberto Lazos v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 18-0205, Texas Sup., 2020 Tex. LEXIS 324).
SALT LAKE CITY — An insurer acted in bad faith and breached the terms of an underinsured motorist (UIM) provision of an automobile insurance policy when it declined to pay benefits to insureds who were injured when an automobile struck them while crossing a street, the insureds allege in an April 6 complaint filed in Utah federal court (Nader Dutta, et al v. Amica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 20-0031, D. Utah).
PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on April 8 remanded a water damage coverage dispute after determining that it is not clear based on the evidence that the federal amount-in-controversy requirement of $75,000 has been met (Gerald Jaycocks, et al. v. Pacific Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 20-377, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61663).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on April 15 ruled that an automobile insurer is not entitled to summary judgment on an insured’s bad faith claim stemming from the insurer’s denial of a settlement offer in an underlying lawsuit because general issues of disputed fact exist as to whether the insurer’s denial of a claimant’s policy limits settlement offer without performing a biomedical review or independent medical evaluation (IME) was in good faith (Matthew Mettler v. Government Employees Insurance Co., No. 18-2303, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66154).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 17 denied an auto insurer’s motion to dismiss a bad faith claim because the plaintiffs alleged sufficient facts in support of their claim (Edward Lowndes, et al. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 19-5823, E.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67620).
SCRANTON, Pa. — A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 13 determined that a statutory bad faith claim must be dismissed because the claim is preempted by a Pennsylvania law governing auto claims (Janine Banks v. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-1617, M.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63863).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A federal judge in Illinois on April 14 ruled that although an insured’s claims in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against its property insurer are not time-barred, dismissal of its breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing claim is necessary because a provision of the Illinois Insurance Code preempts claims for extracontractual damages “based on common law breach of the duty of good faith” (KMK Metal Fabricators Inc. v. Federated Mutual Insurance Co., No. 19-844, S.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65030).
PHILADELPHIA — A homeowner cannot assert breach of contract and bad faith claims against an insurer that issued a lender-placed policy because the homeowner is not an insured or a third-party beneficiary under the policy, a Pennsylvania federal judge said April 13 (John Weiser v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 19-1218, E.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63839).
ST. LOUIS — A federal judge in Missouri on March 25 ruled that claimants in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit sufficiently alleged a causal connection between their insured’s filing of a subrogation claim with another insured and their damages and are not collaterally estopped from asserting that the other insured’s payment to settle the subrogation claim negatively affected their damages claim against two tortfeasors (White Knight Diner LLC, et al. v. Owners Insurance Co. Inc., No. 17-2406, E.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51545).
LOS ANGELES — A trial court did not err in ruling that no material dispute existed as to whether an insurer acted in good faith in denying a claim for property damage arising from a water main break because an expert report showed that the damage to an apartment building was not caused by water damage but instead by long-term settlement and earth movement, a California appellate panel ruled April 2 (501 E. 51st Street Long-Beach-10 LLC v. Kookmin Best Insurance Co. Ltd., et al., No. B293605, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 2117).
HOUSTON — An insured on March 26 filed suit in a Texas court, alleging that its insurer “wrongfully denied” its claim for business interruption losses stemming from the coronavirus outbreak and “engaged its agents to misrepresent Policy provisions and coverage” (Barbara Lane Snowden v. Twin City Fire Insurance Company, No. 2020-19538, Texas Dist., Harris Co.).
SAVANNAH, Ga. — A Georgia federal judge on April 8 dismissed a bad faith claim after determining that the insured failed to allege sufficient facts in support of the claim and essentially reasserted the allegations of the breach of contract claim (Phillip Bradley Hunnings v. Travelers Insurance Group Holdings Inc., et al., No. 19-151, S.D. Ga., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61992).
DENVER — Statutory and common-law bad faith claims alleged against a commercial property insurer in a coverage dispute over storm damage can proceed, a Colorado federal magistrate judge said March 25 after determining that the insured sufficiently alleged facts in support of the claims (The Butman Family Investment Limited Partnership v. Owners Insurance Co., No. 19-1638, D. Col., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53141).
ATLANTA — A federal district court did not err in granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on an insured’s bad faith claim stemming from the insurer’s handling of a homeowners insurance claim because no genuine issues of material fact existed showing that the insured was entitled to payment more than the cost of repairs to her fire-damaged home the insurer was willing to make and the actual cash value, which the insurer paid within the required 60-day period under the policy’s terms, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 8 (Mia Hollingsworth v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 19-11284, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 11011).
SAN ANTONIO — Barbershop insureds on April 8 sued State Farm Lloyds in a Texas court for breach of contract, bad faith and “multiple violations” of the Texas Insurance Code, alleging that the insurer wrongfully denied their business interruption claims arising from the novel coronavirus outbreak and misrepresented its policy provisions and coverage (Outlaws & Gents Grooming, LLC, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, Texas Dist., Bexar County).