RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Oct. 13 affirmed a district court’s ruling that an insured and a condominium association cannot maintain a bad faith claim against an excess insurer that refused to defend or indemnify the insured for a $9 million construction defects settlement because the insured and the association failed to show that they suffered any consequential damages as a result of the excess insurer’s alleged bad faith conduct.
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma federal judge on Oct. 12 granted a life insurer’s motion for summary judgment on a beneficiary’s breach of contract and bad faith claims after determining that misrepresentations made by the beneficiary’s deceased husband were material and that no reasonable jury could find that the life insurer’s investigation was inadequate or unreasonable.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Supreme Court on Sept. 30 reversed and remanded a trial court’s ruling on a bad faith claim asserted against a commercial fleet insurer after determining that the insurer did not have a reasonable basis for denying an employee’s claim for underinsured motorist benefits.
SHERMAN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Oct. 5 granted an insured’s motion for leave to file a second amended complaint in a breach of contract and bad faith suit arising out of the insured’s claim for hail and windstorm damages because the homeowners insurer will not be prejudiced by the filing of the amended complaint.
LAKE CHARLES, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on Oct. 4 held that there is a genuine issue of fact for trial regarding whether an insurer will be subject to bad faith penalties and attorney fees under Louisiana Revised Statutes 22:1892 and 1973, refusing to dismiss the bad faith claims in a coverage dispute over Hurricane Laura damage.
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court on Oct. 7 affirmed a trial court’s finding that a commercial general liability insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in denying coverage for an underlying property damage suit arising out of the insured’s work at an adjacent property building because the policy’s demolition exclusion clearly applied as a bar to coverage for the underlying suit.
RALEIGH, N.C. — Golden Corral Corp. and Golden Corral Franchising Systems filed a notice in a North Carolina federal court on Oct. 6 indicating that they are appealing the court’s grant of an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissal of their bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for their financial losses arising from the suspension of their restaurant operations in response to the government orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 27 granted an auto insurer’s motion to dismiss insureds’ bad faith claim related underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage for an accident with injuries, finding that the claim lacks “specificity,” but granted the insureds leave to amend their complaint.
HOUSTON— A Texas federal judge on Sept. 28 adopted a Sept. 13 magistrate judge’s report and recommendation and granted State Farm’s motion for partial summary judgment on all but a breach of contract claim by homeowners who say that State Farm undervalued hurricane damage on their home.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Sept. 28 granted an insurance company’s motion to change venue because of choice/convenience of forum and denied its motion to dismiss as moot in a case by an insured who was involved in an automobile accident and alleges that the insurer acted in bad faith by refusing to “fairly negotiate . . . and pay” the amount to which he was legally entitled.
HOUSTON — An insured’s breach of contract and bad faith suit against a homeowners insurer cannot proceed because the insured failed to provide her homeowners insurer with timely notice of her claim for damages allegedly caused by Tropical Storm Harvey, a Texas federal judge said Oct. 1.
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on Oct. 5 granted summary judgment in favor of an auto insurer after determining that the insured failed to show that the insurer acted in bad faith in handling an uninsured motorist claim.
SCRANTON, Pa. — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 1 dismissed a bad faith claim alleged against an auto insurer after determining that the insureds failed to offer sufficient facts in support of their claim that the auto insurer acted in bad faith in handling their claim for underinsured motorist benefits.
LOS ANGELES — A jury in a California federal court on Oct. 4 determined that an insurer breached its homeowners’ insurance policy with actress Shannen Doherty and further breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in its handling of her Woolsey Fire claim, awarding Doherty more than $6.3 million, which includes amounts for remediation and living expenses.
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Oct. 6 reversed a district court’s ruling on a breach of contract claim alleged against an auto insurer because the Oklahoma Supreme Court, in answering a certified question, determined that a policy exclusion violates Oklahoma public policy; however, the panel affirmed the lower court’s ruling that the auto insurer did not act in bad faith in using the policy exclusion as a basis to deny coverage.
SELMA, Ala. — An Alabama federal judge on Oct. 5 remanded a bad faith suit filed against an auto insurer after determining that the auto insurer failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds the federal jurisdictional minimum amount.
SAN FRANCISCO — A solar power company asserts in a complaint filed Sept. 27 in federal court in California that an insurer had a duty to defend it, as an additional insured, against lawsuits following a gas explosion because the insurer agreed to defend the company against some of the lawsuits and the lawsuits all arose from the same incident.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California joint power authority’s allegations against reinsurers lack factors that the California Supreme Court has relied on to extend tort recovery in the insurance context, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 27, dismissing claims for tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and striking the authority’s prayers for punitive damages and attorney fees from the breach of contract complaint.
DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on Sept. 28 determined that a special master properly concluded that an insured seeking coverage for damage to a concrete slab at a condominium building project is permitted to depose the builders risk insurer’s attorney who was responsible for drafting the insurer’s reservation of rights letter because the attorney’s role in drafting the letter is crucial to the case.
LOS ANGELES — A California judge on Oct. 1 overruled an insurer’s demurrer to an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage under a “Cancellation, Abandonment and Non-Appearance Insurance” policy for the postponement of the last six shows of Metallica’s South American tour in 2020, finding that the insurer “inadequately investigated” the claim and that the complaint adequately alleged that the coronavirus “is not the efficient proximate cause” of the concert cancellations.