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Mealey's Insurance Bad Faith

  • May 2, 2019

    No Evidence Supports Contention That Insurer Acted In Bad Faith, Panel Says

    CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 25 affirmed a district court’s judgment in favor of an insurer after determining that the insured failed to present any evidence that the insurer acted in bad faith in its handling of an underlying medical malpractice suit (Surgery Center at 900 North Michigan Avenue LLC v. American Physicians Assurance Corp. Inc., et al., No. 18-2622. 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 12929).

  • May 2, 2019

    Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith In Handling Auto Accident Claim

    TAMPA, Fla. — An insurer did not act in bad faith in handling an auto coverage claim because the insurer acted diligently in handling the claim and made repeated attempts to settle the claim on behalf of its insured, a Florida federal judge said April 29 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Waldemar Baranowski v. Geico General Insurance Co., No. 17-301, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72278).

  • May 2, 2019

    Holding Company Was Party To Contract; Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims Stand

    CINCINNATI — An Ohio federal judge on April 30 denied a motion to dismiss filed by the holding company of an auto insurer after determining that the insured, who alleges claims for breach of contract and bad faith, presented sufficient evidence in support of her contention that the holding company was a party to the auto insurance policy (Carole Oblinger, et al. v. Donegal Group Inc., et al., No. 18-775, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72598).

  • May 1, 2019

    Couple Can Amend Third-Party Claims Against Insurance Agency, Judge Rules

    NEW ORLEANS — A couple accused by their insurer of misrepresenting information on their application for a homeowners policy can amend their third-party complaint against the agency that obtained the policy, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled April 29 in denying the agency’s motion to dismiss, finding that the couple should be allowed to remedy deficiencies in their allegations for breach of contract, negligence and detrimental reliance (GeoVera Specialty Insurance Co. v. Mariette Joachin, et al., No. 18-7577, E.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71661).

  • April 29, 2019

    Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss Claims Against Professional Liability Insurer

    LAS VEGAS — Following a remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a Nevada federal judge on April 23 denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s first amended complaint in a coverage dispute over an underlying qui tam action except for the part of the bad faith claim based on the insurer’s conduct before the Ninth Circuit’s ruling (My Left Foot Children's Therapy, et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London subscribing to policy No. HAH15-0632, No. 15-0632, D. Nev., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69236).

  • April 24, 2019

    Bad Faith, Punitive Damages Claims Dismissed In Auto Insurance Dispute

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on April 22 ruled that an insured failed to sufficiently plead facts supporting her claim that her automobile insurance provider acted in bad faith under Pennsylvania law in the handling of the insured’s claim for underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage (Joann Hwang v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 19-927, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67955).

  • April 24, 2019

    Claim For Professional Errors Coverage Is Not Fairly Debatable, Insured Argues

    POCATELLO, Idaho — A corporation insured on April 22 sued its insurer for breach of contract, bad faith and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, alleging that its claim for professional errors coverage for underlying allegations by one of its customers was not fairly debatable (Nelson & Pade, Inc., et al. v. The Hanover Insurance Co., No. 19-00147, D. Idaho).

  • April 23, 2019

    Insured Sues Geico, Homesite In California Court For Failure To Defend

    LOS ANGELES — An insured on April 18 sued two insurers in a California court, asserting that they violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breached an insurance agreement by failing to defend him in an underlying negligence lawsuit (Gaetano Mandala v. Geico Insurance Agency, Inc., et al., No. 19STCV13501, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • April 23, 2019

    Bifurcation Will Prevent Prejudice To Auto Insurer, Kentucky Federal Judge Says

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on April 22 granted an auto insurer’s motion to bifurcate a bad faith claim from a breach of contract claim after determining that bifurcation will prevent prejudice to the auto insurer and will further judicial economy by limiting discovery until after liability has been established (Thea Mason v. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co., No. 19-2, E.D. Ky., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67803).

  • April 22, 2019

    Remand Of Auto Insurance Bad Faith Dispute To State Court Denied

    LOS ANGELES — Remand of an insurance bad faith case against an automobile insurance provider to state court is not necessary because the insurer has shown that the amount in controversy exceeds the statutory limit, a federal judge in California ruled April 3 (Aaron Samsky v State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-992, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58528).

  • April 22, 2019

    Insureds’ Failure To Cooperate With Fire Investigation Bars Coverage, Judge Says

    MONROE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on April 18 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgement on breach of contract and bad faith claims after determining that a property insurer has no duty to pay a claim for fire damages because the insureds breached their duty to cooperate with the insurer during the investigation of the claim (Terence Winborne, et al. v. Wilshire Insurance Co., No. 18-1177, W.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66646).

  • April 22, 2019

    Bad Faith Dispute Over Homeowners Insurance Claim Remanded

    AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on April 16 ruled that although an insurer’s removal of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against its homeowners insurance provider and others to Texas federal court was timely, remand of the action to the state court is necessary because the other parties to the action were not improperly joined (Carlos Riojas, et al. v. Nationwide General Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-1127, W.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65090).

  • April 22, 2019

    Federal Judge Declines To Dismiss Bad Faith Claim In Insurance Dispute

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge in Oklahoma on April 12 ruled that an insured’s breach of contract claim in an insurance bad faith lawsuit should not be dismissed as time-barred because it is not clear what communications between the parties and/or the insurer’s actions at the close of the one-year statute of limitations period caused the insured’s delay in filing his lawsuit (John T. Linthicum v. Praetorian Insurance Co., No. 18-872, W.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63345).

  • April 22, 2019

    Judge: Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith In Failing To Defend Insured In Suit

    SAN DIEGO — Because an insurer did not breach its contract with its insured under the terms of a business insurance policy by failing to defend the insured in a third-party lawsuit, the insured’s claim for breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing “necessarily fails,” a federal judge in California ruled April 10 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (By Referral Only Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America, No. 18-1695, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62040).

  • April 22, 2019

    Auto Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith In Handling Insured’s Claim

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — An auto insurer did not act in bad faith in its investigation and handling of an insured’s claim for underinsured motorist benefits because the insurer never actually denied the insured’s claim and conducted a thorough investigation of the claim before tendering the available policy limits, the Pennsylvania Superior Court said April 17 (Paul Camiolo v. Erie Insurance Exchange, et al., No. 478 EDA 2018, Pa. Super., 2019 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1456).

  • April 18, 2019

    Rental Property Insurer Did Not Breach Contract, Act In Bad Faith, Judge Says

    SPOKANE, Wash. — A Washington federal judge on April 15 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on claims alleging breach of contract and bad faith after determining that the insurer did not breach its contract or act unreasonably in paying for repairs to the insured’s rental property that was damaged by a fire (Barry Chapman, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 17-225, E.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64588).

  • April 17, 2019

    Judge: Insurer Liable For Breach Of Contract In Dispute With Massage Therapist

    LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on March 31 allowed a massage therapist’s breach of contract, bad faith and declaratory judgment claims to proceed in a coverage dispute arising from underlying allegations that he engaged in inappropriate sexual acts while he was performing a massage (Starr Indemnity & Liability Company v. Limmie Young, III, et al., No. 14-00239, D. Nev., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55467).

  • April 17, 2019

    Insurer Did Not Breach Contract; Insureds Failed To Comply With Policy Terms

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer in a water and mold damage dispute because the insureds did not comply with all of their duties under the policy, the North Carolina Court of Appeals said April 16 (Barbara C. Lyon, et al. v. Service Team of Professionals [Eastern Carolina] LLC, d/b/a 24/Store, et al., No. COA18-627, N.C. App., 2019 N.C. App. LEXIS 359).

  • April 16, 2019

    Bad Faith Claim Against Workers’ Comp Claims Administrator Cannot Stand

    PRESCOTT, Ariz. — An Arizona federal judge on April 15 dismissed a workers’ compensation claimant’s bad faith claim against an insurer’s third-party claims administrator because a bad faith claim can be filed only against the insurer and not the third-party claims administrator (Joseph Martin McGhee v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., No. 19-8003, D. Ariz., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64190).

  • April 16, 2019

    Panel: Court Fails To Consider Role Of Fortuity In All Risk Insurance Disputes

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 15 reversed a lower federal court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurer on the question of whether the cause of the insured’s damage was an "external" force not covered under an all risks insurance policy, finding that “at the very least” there is a triable issue of fact as to whether the insured’s loss was fortuitous (Ingenco Holdings LLC, et al. v. Ace American Insurance Company, No. 16-35792, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10946).

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