JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi federal judge on June 12 denied an insured’s motion to remand an insurance breach of contract and bad faith suit arising out of a fire damage claim made under a homeowners policy after determining that complete diversity exists because the insurer’s adjuster is not a proper defendant (Tramon Colenburg v. Amica General Agency LLC, et al., No. 19-24, S.D. Miss., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98564).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Addressing a certified question in an insurance bad faith action against an insurer for its failure to defend an insured in a construction defect action, the South Carolina Supreme Court on June 12 answered in the negative and held that “denying liability and/or asserting good faith in the answer does not, standing alone,” waive the attorney-client privilege for claim files (Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. ContraVest Inc., et al., No. 2018-001170, S.C. Sup., 2019 S.C. LEXIS 53).
OMAHA, Neb. — A reinsurer and its affiliates moved to dismiss counterclaims on June 7 in their breach of contract dispute over a workers’ compensation program, telling a Nebraska federal court that the counterclaims “are a hodgepodge of conclusory allegations and unsupported assertions that fail to meet basic pleading standards” (Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company Inc. v. Ramesh Pitamber & Kusum Pitamber, et al., No. 17-61, D. Neb.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on May 29 signed an order dismissing with prejudice insureds’ lawsuit arising from flood damage one day after the insureds and their insurer announced that they reached a confidential settlement following mediation (Alicia Martin v. CSAA Insurance Exchange, et al., No. 17-04066, N.D. Calif.).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An insured has sufficiently pleaded her claim for bad faith against her automobile insurance provider, and a judge should reject the insurer’s argument that the claim must fail because it presupposes that insurers breached their policy by not paying the insured’s underinsured motorist bodily injury claim, the insured argues in a May 20 opposition brief filed in New Mexico federal court (Yvonne Apodaca v. Young America Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-399, D. N.M.).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 5 determined that an insured’s assignee cannot proceed on claims for breach of contract and bad faith against an airport liability insurer because the policy at issue clearly excluded coverage for the insured’s negligence, which allegedly caused a helicopter to crash (Gary R. Farrar, et al. v. American National Property and Casualty Co., No. 15-1177, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94487).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on June 5 granted a motion to remand a breach of contract and bad faith suit after determining that the business liability insurer failed to prove that the insureds are seeking more than $75,000 for damages incurred to an insured building (Murphy Murphy & Murphy P.C. v. Nationwide Insurance Co., No. 19-0712, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94673).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on June 3 ruled that an insured failed to sufficiently plead that he is entitled to penalties and attorney fees under state law in an insurance bad faith lawsuit stemming from an automobile accident (Jerome Jacobs v. State Farm Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-11126, E.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92272).
RALEIGH, N.C. — A panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals on June 4 reversed a lower court’s order, which upheld the state’s insurance commissioner’s order reversing the North Carolina reinsurance facility’s denial of reimbursement to a motor vehicle insurer for an $11 million bad faith settlement and remanded to the commissioner (The North Carolina Reinsurance Facility v. Mike Causey, et al., No. COA 18-1303, N.C. App., 2019 N.C. App. LEXIS 495).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 3 ruled that an insured has stated only conclusory allegations in support of her claim for statutory bad faith under state law against her automobile insurance provider and has failed to plead any factual allegations to support her claim (Latrisse Pommells v. State Farm Insurance, No. 18-5143, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92435).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on May 31 dismissed a disability claimant’s complaint after determining that the claimant’s breach of contract and bad faith allegations are barred by the policy’s three-year limitations provision and Delaware’s applicable three-year statute of limitations (Douglas Kuber v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 19-80151, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92468).
PHOENIX — Claimants may amend their complaint to add a claim for equitable estoppel against an insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because, although they have already stated a claim for promissory estoppel, they may be able to state claims under both causes of action, a federal judge in Arizona ruled May 23 (Jane Frutiger, et al. v. USAA General Indemnity Co., No. 18-0547, D. Ariz., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87104).
MIAMI — A Florida federal magistrate judge on May 31 recommended that a disability insurer’s motion to dismiss be granted after determining that the claimant failed to state a claim for breach of contract and cannot allege a bad faith claim until a determination of liability is made (Rodolfo Molina v. Provident Life & Accident Co., No. 18-24413, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92479).
DENVER — In a coverage dispute over a $2.4 million judgment in an underlying construction defects case, a Colorado federal judge on May 30 dismissed third-party statutory and common-law bad faith counterclaims against an insurer as well as the insurer’s declaratory relief claim because the underlying matter is not ripe for review (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Bolt Factory Lofts Owners Association Inc., et al., No. 18-01725, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90196).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A condominium association on May 16 sued an insurer for breach of contract, unfair settlement practices and bad faith in a Florida court, alleging that its covered property damages caused by a Sept. 10, 2017, storm “were obvious had Defendant conducted an impartial and adequate inspection of the premises” (Reserve at Pershing Oaks Condominium Association v. Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Company, No. 19-00931, Fla. Cir.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Division II Washington Court of Appeals panel on May 29 reversed and remanded a trial court’s ruling that information related to an insurer’s decision to remove an insured’s suit to federal court is discoverable as evidence of the insurer’s alleged bad faith conduct because litigation strategy is “almost never discoverable” and the insured failed to meet the high bar for piercing the attorney-client privilege (Payton O. Hoff v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, No. 50850-8-II, Wash. App., Div. 2, 2019 Wash. App. LEXIS 1337).
MONROE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on May 28 granted a life insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the beneficiaries of the decedent failed to support their allegations that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith in denying the beneficiaries’ claim following the death of their father (Jesse Clarence Brown Jr. estate, et al. v. New York Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1486, W.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89464).
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 29 reversed and remanded a district court’s dismissal of an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith claims against an auto insurer because the insured was not afforded the opportunity to amend his breach of contract claim and because the insured’s expectation that the cost of a diagnostic scan on his vehicle would be covered under the policy was not unreasonable (Leif Hansen v. Government Employees Insurance Co., No. 18-35383, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15931).
SHERMAN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on May 23 overruled several objections filed by an insurer in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that a federal magistrate judge’s conclusions in her report were supported by the evidence (Ing Pek, et al. v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co., No. 18-0259, E.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86531).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge May 23 granted a commercial property insurer’s motion to dismiss claims for breach of contract and bad faith because the insured, seeking coverage for the theft of a business machine, failed to file suit within the policy’s two-year limitations provision and failed to file suit within the applicable two-year statute of limitations for bad faith claims (MailQuip Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 19-223, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87923).