SAN FRANCISCO — An insured’s bad faith claim cannot be sustained against the parent company of a homeowners insurer because the insured failed to prove that the parent company acted in bad faith in the handling of her claim for water damages, a California federal judge said Oct. 3 (Tam Vu v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-3594, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171347).
STAMFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut judge on Sept. 10 ruled that an insured failed to sufficiently plead allegations that her automobile insurance provider acted in bad faith in failing to properly investigate and evaluate her claim for coverage after an automobile accident with an underinsured motorist (Jessica Calorossi v. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. FSTCV176032926S, Conn. Super, Stamford-Norwalk Dist., 2018 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2249).
PHOENIX — A workers’ compensation claimant’s bad faith claim cannot stand because the claimant failed to obtain a compensability determination from the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) before filing suit against the insurer, an Arizona federal judge said Sept. 30 (Bernard Higgins v. XL Insurance America Inc., No. 17-582, D. Ariz., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168968).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas federal judge on Sept. 25 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after rejecting the assignee’s counterclaims that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by failing to hire competent counsel to represent insureds in an underlying negligence case arising out of a vehicular homicide accident (Progressive Northwestern Insurance Co. v. Gabriel Gant, No. 15-9267, D. Kan., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163624
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 26 held that because of conflicting evidence in the record, there is a genuine issue of fact regarding the cause of insureds’ floor damage following an August 2016 rainfall in East Baton Rouge Parish, denying dueling motions for summary judgment on breach of contract claims against a homeowners insurer and a federal flood insurer (Eric Graham, et al. v. Republic Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-00505, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166934).
TAMPA, Fla. — A bad faith claim filed by an insured against an auto insurer is premature because the insured’s auto coverage claim has yet to be resolved, a Florida federal judge said Oct. 2 in dismissing the claim without prejudice (Rhonda Hargrove-Davis v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, No. 18-923, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169775).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1 denied a petition for writ of certiorari, refusing to review the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision to vacate a $4.6 million judgment entered against an auto insurer in an assignee’s breach of contract suit arising out of the insurer’s refusal to defend its insured in an underlying negligence suit (Shannon Hyland, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 18-24, U.S. Sup.).
GALVESTON, Texas — An insured’s claims alleging violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing against an insurer will be abated until the insured’s claim for breach of contract is decided, a Texas federal judge said Sept. 25 (Sandford F. Holmesly v. Progressive Insurance Co., No. 17-317, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163950).
SAN DIEGO — An insured sufficiently stated a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress but failed to sufficiently state a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress against his auto insurer, which allegedly handled his underinsured motorist benefits claim in bad faith, a California federal judge said Sept. 25 (Russell Kane v. United Services Automobile Association, et al., No. 17-2581, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164605).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — An insured sufficiently stated a timely claim for insurance bad faith within Ohio’s four-year statute of limitations but failed to sufficiently state claims for insurance breach of contract or unfair trade practices against his automobile insurance provider, a federal judge in Ohio ruled Sept. 21 (Charles F. Harsh v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 17-0814, S.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162032).
NEW YORK — In seeking to dismiss a New York federal court case alleging breach of policies by unlawful increase of premium costs to recoup costs associated with an acquisition, a life insurer argues on Sept. 21 that the plaintiffs’ claims do not arise out of specific business activities in New York (Derek Fan, et al. v. Phoenix Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-01288, S.D. N.Y.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The majority of the Florida Supreme Court on Sept. 20 reinstated a $9.2 million bad faith verdict entered against an auto insurer after determining that the appeals court erred in finding that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to prove the insurer acted in bad faith and that the appeals court improperly applied Florida bad faith precedent (Suzanne Harvey, et al. v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. SC17-85, Fla. Sup., 2018 Fla. LEXIS 1705).
SCRANTON, Pa. — The “factual detail” contained in an insured’s insurance bad faith lawsuit against his homeowners insurance provider is sufficient when viewed holistically to survive a motion to dismiss, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Sept. 20 in denying the motion (Eric Stewart v. Travelers Insurance Co., No. 18-170, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161125).
ABINGDON, Va. — A federal judge in Virginia on Sept. 14 ruled that an insured’s counterclaims for conversion, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud and intentional misrepresentation failed to create any tort liability on the part of an insurer that denied the insured’s request for coverage under the terms of a commercial insurance policy (American Fire & Casualty Co. v. Raleigh Mine & Industrial Supply Inc., et al., No. 18-0008, W.D. Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156792).
SAN FRANCISCO — An insureds’ claims for breach of contract, bad faith, misrepresentation and fraud against an auto insurer accused of undervaluing vehicles that were rendered a total loss will move forward against the insurer because the insured offered sufficient facts to support the claims, a California federal judge said Sept. 19 (Bobby Jones, et al. v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-6941, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160313).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Court of Special Appeals on Sept. 18 affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of breach of contract and bad faith claims because the insured, who is seeking coverage for damages caused by an overflow of sewage in his home, failed to exhaust all remedies under Maryland law before filing suit against the insurer (Kevin C. Betskoff v. Standard Guaranty Insurance Co., No. 1444, Md. Spec. App., 2018 Md. App. LEXIS 877).
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A South Dakota federal judge on Sept. 19 dismissed an insured’s suit alleging breach of contract, bad faith and misrepresentation against a long-term care insurer after agreeing with a magistrate judge that the insured failed to prove that a facility in which she resided was an assisted living facility entitling her to benefits under the policy (Leona Van Dusseldorp v. Continental Casualty Co., et al., No. 16-5073, D. S.D., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159674).
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — A trial court abused its discretion in denying an insured’s request to allow discovery in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit before granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment because the trial court’s prior stay of discovery precluded the insured from being able to conduct and obtain any discovery in defense of the motion, an Ohio appellate panel ruled Sept. 10 in reversing and remanding (Crane Service & Inspections LLC v. Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Co., No. CA2018-01-003, Ohio App., 12th Dist., 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 3930).
SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 18 affirmed a district court’s dismissal of an insured’s extracontractual claims after determining that the insured failed to raise a genuine issue of material dispute regarding the reasonableness of the insurer’s investigation of the insured’s vandalism claim (Mary Ann Bernadette Kerrigan v. QBE Insurance Corp., No. 18-35019, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 26460).
TUCSON, Ariz. — An Arizona appellate panel on Sept. 7 ruled that a state trial court did not err in granting an insurer’s summary judgment motion in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the third party lacked any contractual “special relationship” with the insurer as required by state law (James Mathis v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 2 CA-CV 2018-0048, Ariz. App., Div. 2, 2018 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1334).