CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An insured’s extracontractual claims alleged against a homeowners insurer must be dismissed because the insured failed to provide facts in support of the claims for breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and violations of the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, a Texas federal judge said Jan. 3 (Esteban Cruz v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 18-203, S.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 875).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 2 ruled that remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is unnecessary because insureds have improperly joined a claims adjuster as a defendant in the action under state law (Mariano and Joanne Mattei v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp., et al., No. 18-4643, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An insurer is not entitled to summary judgment on claims that it breached its contract and acted in bad faith in denying its insureds’ claim for automobile insurance coverage after the theft of their car because a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the insureds sought to deceive the insurer during the claim investigation process, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 30 (Arsen Abramyan, et al. v. GEICO Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-1069, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 218211).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal magistrate judge on Jan. 3 denied an insurer’s motion to bifurcate and stay discovery of an insured’s bad faith claims in an underinsured motorist coverage dispute after determining that bifurcation is not mandatory and will not promote judicial efficiency (Melinda Prescott v. Bristol West Insurance Co., No. 18-0756, D. N.M., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1322).
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma federal judge on Jan. 9 denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s bad faith claim after determining that the insured, seeking coverage for water damage, sufficiently stated facts in support of the bad faith claim (Greater First Deliverance Temple Inc. v. GuideOne Mutual Insurance Co., No. 19-1022, W.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4003).
SCRANTON, Pa. — An insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in a suit filed by insureds alleging that their property damage claim for the collapse of their barn was denied in bad faith should be denied because the insureds’ complaint raises questions of motivation and bias, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge recommended Jan. 8 (Melissa Flower, et al. v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 18-1321, M.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4096).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on Jan. 7 partly granted a professional liability insurer and a claims investigator’s motion to dismiss an insured’s complaint, denied the motion without prejudice in part and granted the insured leave to amend its complaint in a coverage dispute arising from an administrative services contract the insured entered into with the state of New Jersey (Hammerman & Gainer, LLC v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 18-6729, E.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2807).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Jan. 4 granted an insurer’s motion to strike an insured’s class allegation claim in a breach of contract and bad faith suit arising out of an auto coverage dispute after determining that the claim is immaterial to the insured’s dispute with the auto insurer (Natalie Nadira John v. AIG Property Casualty Company Group Inc. et al., No. 18-8664, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1862).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An insurer is not entitled to summary judgment on a bad faith claim alleged by insureds who maintain that they are entitled to coverage for water damage because the insureds presented sufficient facts from which a jury could find that the insurer’s coverage denial was made in bad faith, a New Mexico federal judge said Dec. 20 (Hector Fava, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp., No. 17-456, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215009).
SAN FRANCISCO — A disability insurer did not issue a final denial of a claim for total disability benefits, a California federal judge said Jan. 4 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract and bad faith suit filed by an insured (Sunil Srinivasan, DDS v. Continental Assurance Co., et al., No. 18-4371, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1894).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Dec. 20 dismissed without prejudice a man’s lawsuit accusing his father’s long-term care insurance provider of unlawfully canceling his policy for failure to pay his annual premium, explaining that claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty are untimely and should be amended (Kesav Dama v. Prudential Life Insurance Company of America, No. 18-cv-03104, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 215738).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Jan. 3 dismissed an insurance adjuster from a water damage coverage dispute because the insureds failed to present any authority that the adjuster could be held individually liable for acts committed within the scope of her employment with the insurer (Robin L. Dobbel, et al., v. Liberty Insurance Corp., et al., No. 17-2114, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 218207).
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Dec. 10 dismissed a disability claimant’s bad faith claim after determining that the claim is barred by the applicable two-year statute of limitations because accrual of the bad faith claim began when the insurer issued its initial benefits determination and not when the insurer issued its decision on appeal (Frank L. Pavel v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 18-1778, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209019).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Dec. 26 primarily denied a motion to dismiss class claims filed after an insurer raised life insurance premiums, ruling that dismissal was appropriate only as to a portion of the plaintiff’s breach of contract claim and a portion of the elder abuse claim (Gail Thompson, et al. v. Transamerica Life Insurance Company, No. 18-5422, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 216312).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 11 ruled that remand of an insurance bad faith lawsuit to state court is unwarranted because the amount in controversy exceeds the statutory limits, thus providing the court with original jurisdiction (Esther Nicophene v. Hartford Insurance Co. of the Southeast, No. 18-2565, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208894).
WHEELING, W.Va. — A federal judge in West Virginia on Dec. 6 ruled that a plaintiff in an insurance bad faith lawsuit lacked the necessary standing to bring her claims against an automobile insurance provider and failed to allege any claim for insurance coverage under common law or a statute (Douglas Sarcopski, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-41, N.D. W.Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205801).
LAS VEGAS — A federal judge in Nevada remanded an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit back to state court on Dec. 19, ruling that he lacks the necessary jurisdiction over the action (Keith Cavanaugh v. Safeco Insurance Co. of Illinois, No. 18-379, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 213320).
COLUMBUS, Ga. — An insurer did not act in bad faith in filing a declaratory judgment action against its insurer and a third party seeking a determination of whether the insurer owed its insured any obligation under the terms of a personal catastrophe liability endorsement in the insured’s homeowners/motor vehicle insurance policy, a federal judge in Georgia ruled Dec. 11 in granting the insurer’s voluntary motion to dismiss the action (Unitrin Auto & Home Insurance Co. v. Kendall Cochran, et al., No. 17-240, M.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208222).
DENVER — A 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 18 ruled that a federal district court did not err in granting an insurer’s summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the insurer had “an objectively reasonable basis to deny” its insured’s request for coverage for roof and interior damage after a wind storm (Billy Hamilton v. Northfield Insurance Co., Nos. 17-7049 and 17-7055, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 35393).
SCRANTON, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Dec. 12 ruled that an insured has failed to sufficiently plead her claim for statutory bad faith against her automobile insurance provider because the claim is “premised largely on bare-bones conclusory allegations which are not sufficient to state a bad faith claim” (Lauren Antidormi Moran v. United Services Automobile Association [USAA], No. 18-2085, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209315).