CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on Oct. 24 declined to stay a coverage dispute over a defectively constructed project for an in camera review and instead ordered an insurer to produce documents pertaining to reinsurance and reserves (ContraVest Inc., et al. v. Mt. Hawley Insurance Co., No. 15-00304, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182196).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge on Oct. 18 denied an auto insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment after determining that contrary to the insurer’s contention, New Mexico law does not require medical expert testimony to prove causation in an auto coverage case (Steve P. Shultzaberger v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 17-1028, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180045).
PITTSBURGH — An insurer’s decision to further investigate an insured’s claim for underinsured/uninsured motorist benefits was not in bad faith because only two months had passed from the time the insured filed the claim for coverage and the filing of his insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against the insurer, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Oct. 22 in granting in part and denying in part the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Justin Higman v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Cos., No. 18-0662, W.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180282).
NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 16 dismissed an auto repair company’s breach of contract and bad faith claims against an insurer after determining that the auto repair company failed to state facts in support of its claims that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by failing to fully reimburse the repair company for repairs completed on insureds’ vehicles (Exclusive Auto Collision Center v. Geico Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-13166, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178404).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Homeowners sufficiently raised allegations on whether an insurer acted in good faith in denying their water damages claim and if the insurer breached the contract by failing to investigate the claim, a New Mexico federal judge ruled Oct. 17, denying summary judgment to the insurer on breach of contract claims (Hector Fava, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp., No. 17-456, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179385).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A reinsurer’s motion to dismiss breach of contract, bad faith and fraud claims should be denied, according to a plaintiff’s Oct. 16 brief in an Alabama federal court over the denial of benefits under four long-term disability insurance policies (Horace R. Theriot Jr. v. The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-688, M.D. Ala.).
DETROIT — A Michigan federal judge on Oct. 17 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss its complaint for declaratory judgment after determining that the counterclaims asserted by the insureds are sufficient to decide whether the insurer acted in bad faith by failing to settle an underlying personal injury suit within the policy limits before an excess judgment was entered against the insureds (Wausau Underwriters Insurance Co. v. Reliable Transportation Specialists Inc., et al., No. 15-12954, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178318).
PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on Oct. 17 denied an insured’s motion for summary judgment on a bad faith claim after determining that an insurer’s settlement offer, which was lower than the insured recovered after trial, cannot be the basis of a claim for bad faith (Peggy Foraker v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-87, D. Ore., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178258).
LOS ANGELES — The beneficiaries of a life insurance policy are entitled to benefits because the life insurance policy cannot be considered to have lapsed as the insurer failed to show that it was prejudiced by the insured’s failure to timely notify the insurer of a disability that would have entitled her to a deduction waiver under the policy, the Second District California Court of Appeal said Oct. 16 (Marty Lat v. Farmers New World Life Insurance Co., No. B282008, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 932).
FORT WORTH, Texas — A federal judge overseeing an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit in Texas ruled Oct. 11 that an insured failed to show that its insurer breached any obligation it had under the terms of an insurance policy when it replaced roofing materials with lesser quality materials after the insured’s property sustained hail and windstorm damage to its roof because the insured failed to show that it sustained damages as a result of the alleged breach (University Baptist Church of Fort Worth v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 17-962, N.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175401).
BOISE, Idaho — An insured claims in an Oct. 15 complaint filed in Idaho federal court that its insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying coverage for the contamination of the insured’s sugar caused by an excess of chlorine contained in the water used to liquefy the sugar for the insured’s customers (The Amalgamated Sugar Co. LLC v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 18-448, D. Idaho).
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An Indiana federal magistrate judge on Oct. 5 denied an insured’s motion for summary judgment on the duty to defend and indemnify in an environmental liability coverage suit after determining that an issue of fact exists as to whether the insured’s notice of the underlying environmental liability claims was timely pursuant to the policies at issue (Landis+Gyr, et al. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 16-82, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173197).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Oct. 15 ruled that a federal district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over an insured’s insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against her auto insurer because the amount in controversy requirement for diversity of citizenship in the lawsuit has not been met (Rhonda Hargrove-Davis v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, No. 18-923, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176385).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Oct. 12 held that issues of fact preclude summary judgment as to whether a commercial general liability insurer acted in bad faith in its claims handling of underlying class actions filed against Yahoo! Inc. over its practice of scanning the content of emails (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 17-00489, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176115).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Insureds are not entitled to recover emotional distress damages as a result of an insurer’s alleged bad faith handling of their claim for water damages because the insureds suffered no physical injury that would entitle them to such damages under New Mexico law, a New Mexico federal judge said Oct. 10 (Hector Fava, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Corp., No. 17-456, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175153).
EL PASO, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Oct. 9 granted an insured’s motion to compel production of the insurer’s claim investigation file regarding one of the insured’s properties for which coverage was provided after determining that the file is relevant to the insured’s claims that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying coverage for another of the insured’s properties that was damaged on the same day by the same storm (Gary B. Crossland d/b/a Gold Cross Properties v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 18-85, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173878).
TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 9 ruled that insureds in a homeowners insurance dispute failed to show that their insurer acted in bad faith in denying their claim for coverage because the insurer relied on information provided by two engineers showing that property damage to the home was not covered under the insurance policy (Natalie Orban, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 16-3050, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173212).
DENVER — A Colorado chief federal judge on Sept. 18 denied an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, finding that at the very least, there is a genuine dispute of fact regarding whether the insurer suffered any prejudice by the insured’s late notice of its hail damage claim (Hiland Hills Townhouse Owners Association, Inc. v. Owners Insurance Company, No. 17-1773, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160024).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 9 denied an insured’s petition for writ of certiorari, refusing to review the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in an insurance bad faith suit under the precedent set by the Supreme Court in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins (David Duncan v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 18-108, U.S. Sup.).
AUSTIN, Texas — An insured recently told the Texas Supreme Court that its lawsuit seeking recourse against its insurer pursuant to the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (TPPCA) is important to the state’s jurisprudence because it invites the high court to explain how the principles of USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Menchaca apply when an insurer invokes appraisal after the onset of litigation (Barbara Technologies Corporation v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17-0640, Texas Sup.).