TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on March 1 denied a life insurer’s motion to dismiss breach of contract and bad faith claims after determining that the insured sufficiently alleged facts in support of the claims (Mahmud U. Haq v. Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Co., No. 19-10553, D. N.J., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36825).
LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on March 19 dismissed an insured’s claims for bad faith and unfair claims practices against an auto insurer after determining that the insured failed to allege sufficient facts in support of the claims (Mike Castillo v. GEICO Casualty Co., No. 19-1259, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48048).
HOUSTON — The First District Texas Court of Appeals on March 17 determined that a trial court erred in refusing to abate an insured’s extracontractual claims from a declaratory judgment claim filed against an auto insurer because the extracontractual claims are dependent on the resolution of the declaratory judgment claim (In re State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co., No. 01-19-00821, Texas App., 1st Dist., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 2214).
PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on March 17 dismissed a bad faith suit filed against a workers’ compensation insurer because the insured’s claim is governed by the laws of California, which is where the workers’ compensation claim was filed (Richard Duran v. National Interstate Insurance Co., No. 19-4779, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46725).
LOS ANGELES — Reinsurance “is not the type of insurance that supports a bad faith remedy,” a reinsurer argues in a March 16 reply in support of its motion to dismiss or strike insurers’ bad faith claim from a California federal court lawsuit regarding reinsurance payments (California Capital Insurance Co., et al. v. Maiden Reinsurance North America, Inc., No. 20-01264, C.D. Calif.).
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 17 affirmed a jury verdict in favor of a disability claimant after determining that based on the policy language, it was reasonable for the jury to conclude that the claimant was entitled to disability benefits (Brenda Sandoval v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, Nos. 19-1047, 19-1164, 10th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 8398).
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on March 13 granted an auto insurer’s motion for summary judgment on breach of contract and bad faith claims after determining that the insurer did not breach its contract in denying the insured’s claim for underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits because the insured recovered all the damages to which he was entitled from the tortfeasor (C. Dewayne Luckett v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 19-170, W.D. Wash., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44181).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 16 granted an auto insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s bad faith claim after determining that the insured failed to allege sufficient facts in support of her contention that the insurer acted in bad faith (Megan Ridpath v. Progressive Advanced Auto Insurance Co., No. 19-5871, E.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44796).
FLORENCE, S.C. — No coverage is owed under a business interruption insurance policy for losses incurred as a result of a civil authority evacuation order issued prior to Hurricane Florence because the civil authority order was not issued because of damage or destruction of an adjacent property as required by the policy, a South Carolina federal judge said Feb. 24 (Kelaher, Connell & Conner P.C. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 19-693, D. S.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31081).
SCRANTON, Pa. — A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 11 determined that an insured’s bad faith claim against an auto insurer will proceed because the auto insurer failed to prove that its conduct in handling the insured’s claim was nothing more than simple negligence (Joan Angeli et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 18-703, M.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43159).
WARWICK, R.I. — A Rhode Island judge on March 11 granted summary judgment as to an insured’s breach of contract claim against its insurer, finding that coverage is not barred by a pollution exclusion, but denied summary judgment as to its bad faith claim because questions of fact remain (Dutchman Dental LLC v. The Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Company, No. KC-2016-1281, R.I. Super., Kent Co., 2020 R.I. Super. LEXIS 23).
TRENTON, N.J. — The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court on March 3 reversed a ruling in favor of insured homeowners in a water damage coverage dispute after determining that the property insurance policy at issue clearly precludes coverage for water damages (Robert Cusamano, et al. v. New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Association, No. A-1704-18T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2020 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 438).
LOS ANGELES — The Second District California Court of Appeal on March 10 affirmed a trial court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an auto insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims because the insured failed to failed suit within the applicable statutes of limitations (Robert G. Patterson Jr. v. Mid-Century Insurance Co., No. B295187, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 6, 2020 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1615).
CONCORD, N.H. — An insurer is not entitled to summary judgment as to liability on claims that it acted in bad faith in denying coverage under a homeowners insurance policy after an insured’s condominium sustained fire damage because a rational fact finder could determine that the insurer’s failure to reschedule an examination under oath was unreasonable, a federal judge in New Hampshire ruled March 9 (Sanjeev Lath v. Amica Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-534, D. N.H., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39790).
ATLANTA — Insurers on March 9 gave notice that they are appealing to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a decision compelling them to arbitrate a claim against a reinsurer for alleged bad faith refusal to pay their reinsurance claim regarding a construction defects case settlement (Builders Insurance, et al. v. Maiden Reinsurance North America, Inc., No. 19-02762, N.D. Ga.).
ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 10 affirmed a district court’s decision in favor of a long-term care insurer and a third-party claims administrator on claims of breach of contract, bad faith and misrepresentation, agreeing with the insurer that the facility where the insured was a resident did not meet the policy’s definition of an assisted living center (Leona Van Dusseldorp v. Continental Casualty Co., et al., No. 18-3257, 8th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 7375).
LONDON, Ky. — A federal judge in Kentucky on Feb. 24 ruled that because she has already determined that an insurer had no duty to defend its insureds in underlying actions, dismissal of insureds’ remaining breach of contract, insurance bad faith and unfair claim practices claims is warranted (Outdoor Venture Corp., et al. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-182, E.D. Ky., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32141).
TULSA, Okla. — A defendant was improperly joined as a party in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit stemming from a homeowners insurance dispute because an insured failed to show that the defendant has members or subscribers in Oklahoma or is a citizen of the state, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Feb. 26 (Marylyn Strome v. CSAA Insurance Exchange, et al., No. 19-573, N.D. Okla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32786).
SAN FRANCISCO — An insurer breached the terms of a homeowners insurance policy and conducted an adjustment process in bad faith, resulting in settlement offers that were insufficient to make the necessary repairs to a home that sustained fire damage, insureds argue in a Feb. 24 complaint filed in California state court (Jeffrey Banker, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. CGC-20-583156, Calif. Super, San Francisco Co., 2020 CA SUP. CT PLEADINGS LEXIS 192).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on March 3 held that nonconforming soils used by a general contractor insured to fill levees in a flood construction project constitute “defective materials” under a builders’ risk insurance policy's “cost of making good” exclusion, further finding that the definition of “professional loss” under a professional liability insurance policy excluded the insured’s claimed loss (Brosamer & Wall, Inc. v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company, No. 19-872, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37589).