Published: March 21, 2017

McDaniel v. Govt. Empls. Ins. Co., No. 14-17203, 2017 WL 892516 (9th Cir. Mar. 7, 2017)

On cross-motions for summary judgment, the District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled in favor of Amy McDaniel, holding that GEICO had breached the implied duty to settle her lawsuit against a GEICO insured. GEICO appealed that ruling.

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Published: January 3, 2017

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rules that insurer’s offer to settle claims for policy limit in exchange for release and indemnification of insured strikes proper balance between competing duties of good faith to plaintiff and insured under Kentucky law.

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Published: January 3, 2017

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirms District Court’s ruling that company’s liability insurer does not owe a duty to settle to former employee in action against company.

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Published: October 11, 2016

Toney v. State Farm Lloyds, Case No. 14-40914, 2016 WL 4784012 (5th Cir. Sept. 13, 2016).

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Published: September 26, 2016

Defendant Icon Legacy Custom Modular was sued in two separate state court proceedings: one in New York and one in Massachusetts.  Plaintiff Westfield Insurance Company initially agreed to defend Icon as to those actions, but subsequently initiated a declaratory action in the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania seeking a declaration that it owed Icon no defense or indemnity under the subject policy.

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Published: September 6, 2016

In Pennsylvania, an insurance bad faith claim requires an insured to show by clear and convincing evidence that the insurer 1) lacked a reasonable basis for denying benefits under the policy, and 2) knew or recklessly disregarded its lack of a reasonable basis in denying the claim. Terletsky v. Prudential Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. On August 30, 2016, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted review in the case of Rancosky v. Washington Nat’l Ins.

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Published: August 18, 2016

Federal Court upholds exemption of title insurance companies to statutory bad faith claim under Illinois Insurance Code section 155

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Published: August 18, 2016

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri denies work product privilege to documents created before insurer knew insured had retained counsel and was considering legal action and to information prepared in the ordinary course of business and not for purposes of litigation, but upholds privilege as to protected information absent a showing of substantial need and undue hardship

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Published: August 5, 2016

In Paslay v. State Farm General Insurance Company, 248 Cal. App. 4th 639 (Cal. Ct. App. June 27, 2016), the elderly owners of a home damaged in a rainstorm submitted a claim to their homeowner’s insurer, State Farm General Insurance Company (“State Farm”). State Farm paid for the insureds to live in a rented home for six months while the repairs were being made to their home, and paid for certain aspects of the repairs.

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Published: August 5, 2016

In The Home Loan Investment Company v. St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co., 15-1018, 2016 WL 3610054 (10th Cir. July 5, 2016), the insured filed suit for breach of contract and bad faith, prevailing on both counts at trial. The carrier appealed, but the Tenth Circuit upheld the jury verdict in favor of the insured. 

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Published: June 30, 2016

September 29, 2012 was not a typical night for Richard Ruth’s Bar & Grill (“Ruth’s”) in South Carolina. A contentious duel erupted, which led to one patron violently beating plaintiff Emmanuel Kehagias with a billiard cue. The beating caused Kehagias severe physical injuries and permanent brain damage. The owners of the bar, the Ruths, agreed to assign their claims against their insurer to Kehagias in exchange for Kehagias’s forbearance from suit against the Ruths.

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Published: June 30, 2016

Camp v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, No. 16-1087, 2016 WL 3181743 (E.D. Pa. June 8, 2016).

Federal district court grants insurer’s motion to dismiss because plaintiff’s bad faith claim failed to state plausible claim

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Published: June 14, 2016

Columbia Cas. Co. v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co., No. CV 15-197-ML, 2016 WL 2930927 (D.R.I. May 19, 2016).

The District of Rhode Island finds that a high-low settlement agreement executed by an underlying insurer and an excess insurer does not preclude an excess insurer’s claim of bad faith.

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Published: June 14, 2016

Jimenez v. Gov’t Emps. Ins. Co., No. 15-12352, 2016 WL 3058842 (11th Cir. May 31, 2016).

The Eleventh Circuit holds that lack of good faith negotiations and an unjustified settlement amount provides sufficient basis for a jury to conclude that a Coblentz Agreement (often termed a “consent judgment”) was made in bad faith and was unreasonable.

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Published: May 24, 2016

Thompson Pac. Construction, Inc. v. Am. Int’l Grp., Inc. No. 15-cv-01091-WHO, 2016 WL 1730024 (N.D. Cal. May 2, 2016).

A federal court in California entered summary judgment in favor of an excess insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims where a contractor that had settled its claims with the project owner alleged that the owner’s excess insurer failed to provide it coverage related to a subsequent settlement of related litigation. 

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Published: May 6, 2016

Whalen v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. 15-2200, 2016 WL 1623435 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 25, 2016)

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Published: May 6, 2016

Valley Forge Ins. Co. v. Fisher Klosterman, Inc., No. 1:14-cv-792, 2016 WL 1642961 (S.D. Ohio Apr. 26, 2016)

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Published: May 4, 2016

The HHS-OIG issued new guidelines on April 18, 2016 regarding the Secretary's exercise of the Department's permissive exclusion authority pursuant to Section 1128(b)(7) of the Social Security Act.  The HHS-OIG's new guidance represents an effort by the Department to align its permissive exclusion authority with DOJ's recent focus on holding culpable individuals accountable as expressed in the so-called Yates Memorandum and replaces the guidance previously set forth at 62 Fed. Reg. 67,392 (December 24, 1997).

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Published: April 22, 2016

Braddy v. Infinity Assurance Ins. Co., No. 6:15-CV-0119-JA-GJK, 2016 WL 1446202 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 11, 2016)

Middle District of Florida holds that statutory bad faith claim does not preempt common law claim; grants motion to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claim as duplicative of bad faith claim; and finds unresolved coverage question sufficient to abate (but not dismiss) bad faith claims. 

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Published: April 13, 2016

Court grants insurer’s motion for summary judgment on common law, but not statutory, bad faith, holding that while plaintiff did not present evidence of recklessness, she did present grounds on which a jury could find that the insurer unreasonably delayed or denied a benefit under the policy. 

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Published: April 13, 2016

In Adamscheck v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, the Tenth Circuit affirmed a District of Colorado decision denying an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on its insured’s bad faith claim where the insurer reduced the insured’s benefits by the amount he had received from workers’ compensation.

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Published: March 10, 2016

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas rules that insurer’s compliance with appraisal provision of insurance policy defeats breach of contract claim and, absent a breach of contract, bad faith claims do not survive.

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Published: March 10, 2016

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio dismisses bad faith claim where factual allegations in the complaint, if believed, would establish only a breach of contract.

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Published: February 23, 2016

In two companion cases, Mistretta v. Mid-Century Insurance Co., C076339, 2016 WL 634554 (Cal. Ct. App. February 17, 2016) and Gregory v. Mid-Century Insurance, C077339, 2016 WL 634594 (Cal. Ct.  App.

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Published: February 12, 2016

Pheasantbrook Home Owners Ass'n v. The Travelers Indem. Co., No. 1:14-CV-00056-DN, 2016 WL 309771(D. Utah Jan. 25, 2016).

The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah granted summary judgment for an insurer where the insurer’s refusal to pay supplemental damages, after it had already paid agreed-upon damages for the claim, was fairly debatable given the facts.

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Published: February 12, 2016

Juneau v. Jones, No. 4:14-CV-04165, 2016 WL 312236 (W.D. Ark. Jan. 25, 2016).

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas granted insurer’s motion for summary judgment on insureds’ bad faith claim for denial of UIM benefits, holding that insureds’ failure to provide sufficient proof of their losses rendered insurer’s denial of benefits neither arbitrary nor capricious.

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Published: February 1, 2016

McGee-Grant v. Am. Family Mut. Ins., No. C14-1989RSM, 2016 WL 126429 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 12, 2016). 

Court holds that insurer acted in bad faith by withholding payment of the insured’s medical expenses because the insurer’s investigation exceeded the thirty day statutory period. 

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Published: February 1, 2016

Moore v. GEICO Gen. Ins. Co., No. 14-13356, 2016 WL 123831 (11th Cir. Jan. 12, 2016).

The Eleventh Circuit finds disputed questions of fact and reverses the trial court’s entry of summary judgment in an insurer’s favor on an insured’s bad faith claim arising out of the insurer’s failure to settle.  

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Published: January 15, 2016

Bonham v. Geico Cas. Co., No. 15-cv-02109-MEH, 2016 WL 26513 (D. Colo. Jan. 4, 2016).

Court Determines That Prejudice To Plaintiff of Bifurcating Is More Significant Than Potential Prejudice to Insurer of Trying Issues Together

A federal court in Colorado has denied a motion to bifurcate UIM coverage claims and bad faith claims.  Geico sought to stay discovery on the bad faith claims and try the underlying UIM case first.

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Published: January 15, 2016

Hockenbury v. Hanover Ins. Co., No. CIV-15-1003-D, 2016 WL 54213 (W.D. Okla. Jan. 5, 2016).

Court Rejects Blatantly Self-Serving Averments by Plaintiff Regarding Amounts At Issue Designed To Evade Diversity And CAFA Jurisdiction

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Published: September 1, 2015

Kennedy v. Allstate, No. 15-2221 (E.D. Pa. July 8, 2015).

District Court recognizes possibility that insurance adjusters owe a duty of care to insureds that would be breached by failing to conduct a reasonable investigation and by making misrepresentations about the insureds’ claim.

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Published: September 1, 2015

Dufour v. Progressive Classic Ins. Co., No. 2014AP157, 2015 WL 4275292 (Wis. Ct. App. July 16, 2015).

The Court of Appeals of Wisconsin reverses the Circuit Court for Dodge County and remands for proceedings on damages for insured’s bad faith claim, finding that there was no reasonable basis for insurer’s denial of insured’s claim to subrogated property funds where the insured had not yet been made whole for his total loss resulting from a motorcycle accident.

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Published: September 1, 2015

Schmidt v. The Travelers Indem. Co. of Am., No. 1:13-CV-932, 2015 WL 4538118 (S.D. Ohio July 27, 2015).

A law firm that lost more than $141,000 in an online scam lost its coverage dispute with its insurer but still tried to pursue a bad faith claim. The court held that where an insurer was legally entitled to deny coverage, that denial could not have been in bad faith.

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Published: September 1, 2015

P&S LLC v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 14-cv-00735-LTB-CBS (D. Colo. July 29, 2015).

District of Colorado grants summary judgment for insurer on bad faith claim where insurer established that an Executive & Organization Liability Insurance Policy’s Specific Entity Exclusion barred coverage for losses in connection with claims against an entity excluded from coverage.

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Published: July 1, 2015

Purscell v. Tico Ins. Co., No. 13-2362, 2015 WL 3855253 (8th Cir. June 22, 2015).

Court holds it was not bad faith for insurer to pursue investigation into underlying lawsuit before considering settlement demand.

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Published: July 1, 2015

Wolfe v. Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 12-4450, 2015 WL 3634779 (3d Cir. June 12, 2015).

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals holds that evidence of punitive damages award against insured in underlying suit was not relevant to resolution of bad faith claim.

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Published: July 1, 2015

Dey v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 14-60300, 2015 WL 3772762 (5th Cir. June 17, 2015).

Fifth Circuit holds that “pocketbook dispute” between insured and insurer over value of the insured’s claim and insurer’s delay in resolving claim while it conducted further investigation did not constitute bad faith.

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Published: June 1, 2015

Lane v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins., No. 3:14-CV-01045 (M.D. Pa. May 18, 2015).

Insured not entitled to compel production of un-redacted documents revealing pre- and post-complaint communications protected by work product and attorney client privilege.

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Published: June 1, 2015

State Auto Prop. and Cas. Ins. Co. v. Hargis, No. 13-5020 (6th Cir. May 6, 2015).

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denies motion for certification of questions to the Kentucky Supreme Court regarding viability of “reverse bad faith” claims on basis that insurer provided insufficient evidence to conclude Court would adopt the claim under Kentucky law.

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Published: June 1, 2015

Kelly v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. 2014-CQ-1921 (La. May 5, 2015).

Answering certified questions from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Louisiana finds an insurer can be liable for (1) bad faith failure to settle where no firm settlement offer was received, and (2) misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts that are not related to coverage.

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Published: May 1, 2015

Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. LLC v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., Cv. No. SA:13-CV-931-DAE (W.D. Tex. Apr. 7, 2015).

Insurer entitled to summary judgment on bad faith claim where insured failed to show that denial of claim was unreasonable, that the insurer did not timely investigate its claim, or that the insurer committed an extreme act resulting in injury independent of the policy claim.

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Published: May 1, 2015

Mohney v. Am. Gen. Life Ins. Co., Nos. 2030 WDA 2013, 2046 WDA 2013, 2015 WL 2146354 (Pa. Super. Ct. May 8, 2015).

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania finds that there was no reasonable basis for insurer’s denial of benefits where the denial was based on equivocal statements from the insured’s doctor regarding the insured’s ability to perform, with accommodations, certain light-duty work.

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Published: May 1, 2015

Benchmark Ins. Co. v. G.L. Const. Co., 3:14-cv-00326, 2015 WL 1622993 (D. Nev. Apr. 13, 2015).

Court finds that there was no “potential for coverage” necessary to trigger insurer’s duty to defend where the plain language of the policy precluded coverage for certain of the underlying causes of action and where insured’s own statements made clear that the alleged illegal dumping at issue occurred prior to policy inception.

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Published: April 1, 2015

Chapman v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co., No. 2013-CA-01883-COA (Miss. Ct. App. Mar. 17, 2015).

Ruling en banc, court affirms grant of summary judgment for insurer, adjuster and employer on bad faith claims brought by former employee and his spouse stemming from denial of benefits related to injury later determined to be work-related and compensable under workers’ compensation law.

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Published: April 1, 2015

Boulware v. Liberty Ins. Corp., No. 3:13-CV-1541, 2015 WL 1219283 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 17, 2015).

After a portion of the insured’s deck collapsed, the insurer denied coverage based on a brief inspection without hiring an engineer or other expert. The insured brought a bad faith claim for insufficient investigation, which the court denied, holding that the insurer’s employees had a reasonable basis for their denial based on their observations and experience.

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Published: April 1, 2015

Scheirer v. Nationwide Ins. Co. of Am., No. 3:13-CV-1397, 2015 WL 1013986 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 9, 2015).

Middle District of Pennsylvania denies cross-motions for summary judgment on bad faith claim, holding that material issues of fact existed where Plaintiff ultimately received benefits but claimed that insurer handled the claim in an untimely manner.

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Published: April 1, 2015

Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA v. Intrawest ULC, et al., No. 13-cv-00079-PAB-KMT, 2015 WL 1326199 (D. Colo. Mar. 20, 2015).

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado denies an insurer’s motion to dismiss, reasoning that under Colorado law, a party may assert a statutory bad faith claim as a “first-party claimant” and still pursue a third-party bad faith claim under common law.

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Published: March 1, 2015

Charter Oak Ins. Co. v. Maglio Fresh Foods, et al., No. 14-4094, (3d Cir. Feb. 12, 2015).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denies motion to intervene where intervention would prejudice the parties and the interests of the proposed intervenor were already sufficiently represented.

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Published: March 1, 2015

Guyaux-Mitchell v. Old United Cas. Co., No. 13-CV-1132-WJM-KMT, 2015 WL 535563 (D. Colo. Feb. 9, 2015).

Insurer’s motion for summary judgment denied where insurer waited for nearly two years to pay medical benefits to claimant who lost her leg in a boating accident.

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Published: March 1, 2015

Henriquez-Disla v. Allstate Prop. and Cas. Ins. Co., No. 13-284 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 10, 2015).

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania grants summary judgment for insurer on bad faith claim where Plaintiffs failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that insurer lacked a reasonable basis in denying coverage for losses resulting from theft and fire.

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Published: February 1, 2015

Wargacki v. W. Nat’l Assurance Co., No. C13-5373RBL, 2015 WL 74111 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 6, 2015).

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington grants summary judgment to an insurer ruling that the insurer had no duty to defend a complaint arising out of an insured’s intentional killing of his girlfriend despite the fact that the girlfriend’s estate had characterized the incident as “negligence.”

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Published: February 1, 2015

Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. v. Vigil, No. 32,171 (N.M. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2015).

Court of Appeals of New Mexico rules that district court abused its discretion in excluding evidence of previous coverage ruling in favor of insurer and insurer’s settlement of third-party claims against insured, and remands for new trial on bad faith claim.

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Published: February 1, 2015

Haney v. ACE Am. Ins. Co., No. CV-13-02429-PHX-DGC, 2015 WL 58670 (D. Ariz. Jan. 5, 2015).

District of Arizona: Court Grants Partial Summary Judgment on Bad Faith Claim for Failure of Insurer to Make Retroactive Payments, but Question of Fact Remained with Respect to Insurer’s Initial Miscalculation of Benefits

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Published: February 1, 2015

Granite State Ins. Co. v. Integrity Structures, LLC, No. C14-5085BHS, 2015 WL 136006 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 9, 2015).

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held that an insurer did not act in bad faith where the insured assigned its rights against the insurer to the underlying plaintiff before it provided notice to the insurer and then provided minimal information in response to the insurer’s requests for nearly a year.

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Published: January 1, 2015

Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Addison Ins. Co., No. SC 93792 (Mo. Dec. 9, 2014).

Supreme Court of Missouri rules in an en banc decision that neither an excess judgment nor a failure to pay policy limits are essential elements of a claim for bad faith refusal to settle and that an excess insurer may recover on such a claim under theories of assignment and conventional or equitable subrogation.

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Published: January 1, 2015

Cline v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 6:13-CV-182-HAI, 2014 WL 7074973 (E.D. Ky. Dec. 15, 2014).

After denial of claim for loss from fire on basis of exclusion for criminal or intentional acts, Insurer wins cross-motions for summary judgment where insureds cited no applicable law, failed to plead facts with specificity, and mischaracterized deposition testimony

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Published: January 1, 2015

Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. JT Walker Indus., Inc., No. 2:08-02043-MBS, 2014 WL 6773517 (D.S.C. Dec. 2, 2014).1

The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina sets aside a jury’s verdict awarding punitive damages to a bad faith plaintiff where there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that the insurer acted with willful, wanton, or reckless disregard for the insured’s rights.

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Published: December 1, 2014

Tibble v. Am. Physicians Capital, Inc., No. 306944, 2014 WL 5462573 (Mich. Ct. App. Oct. 28, 2014).

The Michigan Court of Appeals holds that although the trial court erred when it defined “bad faith” for the jury, the court’s error did not require reversal because the applicable law regarding bad faith was adequately presented.

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Published: December 1, 2014

Norman v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. 13-CV-01643-PAB-CBS, 2014 WL 6478046 (D. Colo. Nov. 19, 2014).

District of Colorado holds that insured has no duty to hire own adjuster in order to receive payment, and denies insurer’s motion for summary judgment on bad faith claims even where coverage claim was arguably “debatable” and insureds may have caused delay.

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Published: December 1, 2014

Stanford v. National Grange Ins. Co., Civil Action No. 11-7144 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 3, 2014).

Eastern District of Pennsylvania grants insurer’s motion for summary judgment on bad faith claim in dispute over payment of proceeds under a claim for uninsured motorist benefits.

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Published: November 1, 2014

Thorne v. Member Select Ins. Co., No. 2:09 CV 87, 2014 WL 4700873 (N.D. Ind. Sept. 22, 2014).
The Northern District of Indiana denies an insured’s motion for reconsideration of the court’s entry of summary judgment in the insurer’s favor on a bad faith claim.

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Published: November 1, 2014

Cadle v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., No. 6:13-CV-1591-ORL-31G, 2014 WL 4983746 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 6, 2014).

Middle District of Florida fi nds that insured’s bad faith claim for fi rst-party failure to settle could not properly be resolved at the summary judgment stage, noting that such claims can rarely be resolved as a matter of law.

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Published: November 1, 2014

Shaffer v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 1:13-CV-01837, 2014 WL 5325340 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 20, 2014).

Court grants summary judgment to insurer where lengthy investigation was required to determine causation for UIM claim, despite insurer previously paying first-party benefits.

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Published: October 1, 2014

Safeco Ins. Co. of Ill. v. Beare, No. 4D13-3104, 2014 WL 4626851 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Sept. 17, 2014).

The Fourth District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida denies an insurer’s petition seeking review of the trial court’s abatement of an insured’s bad faith claim because the insurer did not demonstrate that the trial court departed from the essential requirements of law.

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Published: October 1, 2014

Advantage Bldgs. & Exteriors, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., No. WD76880, 2014 WL 4290814 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2014), reh’g and/or transfer denied (Sept. 30, 2014).

Missouri Court of Appeals affirms sufficiency of evidence of bad faith and exclusion of evidence of declaratory judgment, but reverses and remands for erroneous jury instructions.

. . . . . .

Published: October 1, 2014

Eastman v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 14cv0703, 2014 WL 5355036 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 20, 2014).

Southern District of California denies motion to dismiss bad faith claim in connection with coverage dispute under homeowners policy.

. . . . . .

Published: September 1, 2014

Lexington Ins. Co. v. MGA Entm’t, No. 12-cv-3677 (SAS), 2014 WL 3955205 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 12, 2014).

The Southern District of New York denies an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s claim that the insurer breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing by withholding all payment of defense costs where the insurer’s obligation was divisible into undisputed and disputed portions.

. . . . . .

Published: September 1, 2014

Currie v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. CIV.A. 13-6713, 2014 WL 4081051 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 19, 2014).

. . . . . .

Published: September 1, 2014

White v. Metro. Direct Prop. and Cas. Ins. Co., Civ. A. No. 13-434 (E.D. Pa. July 29, 2014).

Eastern District of Pennsylvania enters summary judgment for the insurer on statutory bad faith claim in coverage dispute under homeowner’s policy.

. . . . . .

Published: September 1, 2014

Kincaid v. Allstate Prop. and Cas. Ins. Co., No. 2:13-cv-014030, 2014 WL 3733758 (11th Cir. Jul. 30, 2014).

The Eleventh Circuit holds that under Florida law, negligence does not equate to bad faith, and under the specific facts of the case, one possible negligent mistake was insufficient to find bad faith where the insurer otherwise consistently acted with duer regard for the interest of the insured.

. . . . . .

Published: August 1, 2014

Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am., No. 7:12-cv-00133-O (N.D. Tex. Jul. 14, 2014).

Northern District of Texas dismisses bad faith claims against insurer and adjuster in dispute over coverage for well blowout under well-control policy.

. . . . . .

Published: August 1, 2014

Lewison v. W. Nat’l Mut. Ins. Co., Civ. No. 13-4031-KES, 2014 WL 3573403 (D.S.D. July 21, 2014).

The District of South Dakota grants in part and denies in part an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on two plaintiffs’ bad faith claims, where one plaintiff’s entitlement to benefits was “fairly debatable” at the time of the denial and the other plaintiff’s claim was denied for reasons the insurer knew to be false.

. . . . . .

Published: August 1, 2014

Givens v. West Bend Mut. Ins. Co., No. 4:13 CV 1287, 2014 WL 2946672 (N.D. Ohio Jul. 1, 2014).

The Northern District of Ohio concludes that insurer was justified in denying claim for two fires that were undisputedly set by insured.

. . . . . .

Published: August 1, 2014

Bancorp Bank v. Lawyers Title Insurance Corp., No. 13–6103 , 2014 WL 3325861 (E.D. Pa. Jul. 8, 2014).

Eastern District of Pennsylvania explains that while Closing Protection Letter may be an indemnity contract, it is not an insurance policy.

. . . . . .

Published: July 1, 2014

Westchester Fire Insurance Co. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 13-12932, 2014 WL 2766764 (11th Cir. Jun. 19, 2014)

The Eleventh Circuit finds that a primary insurer did not act in bad faith by failing to inform excess insurer of a post-verdict settlement offer when the excess insurer could not prove that it would have accepted the settlement offer.

. . . . . .

Published: July 1, 2014

Malone v. Allstate Indemnity Co., No. 2:13–CV–00884–WMA, WL 2592352 (N.D. Al. Jun. 10, 2014)

The Northern District of Alabama finds that an insurer did not act in bad faith by denying coverage for damage caused by a house fire where investigators suspected arson, the insured made misrepresentations in bankruptcy filings, and the insurer received an uncontradicted coverage opinion from an attorney.

. . . . . .

Published: July 1, 2014

Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 1:12-CV-491-DAE, 2014 WL 2711849 (W.D. Tex. June 16, 2014)

The Western District of Texas finds that a policyholder’s expert witness is not qualified to opine when he does not sufficiently examine the facts available to the insurer, and when the expert is not able to define good or bad faith.

. . . . . .

Published: June 1, 2014

Miller v. Kenny, No. 68594-5-I, 2014 WL 1672946 (Wash. Ct. App. Apr. 28, 2014)

The Court of Appeals of the State of Washington held that a reasonable covenant judgment, consisting of the total liability of the insured to outstanding claimants, represented the minimum amount of damage suffered by an insured when his insurer failed to settle the claims in good faith.

. . . . . .

Published: June 1, 2014

Willis v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 2:13-CV-60-KS-MTP, 2014 WL 1882387 (S.D. Miss. May 12, 2014).

The Southern District of Mississippi held that neither the attorney-client privilege nor the work product doctrine protected communications related to the insurer’s advice-of-counsel defense after the insurer produced a coverage opinion during discovery.

. . . . . .

Published: June 1, 2014

San Diego Apartment Brokers, Inc. v. California Capital Ins. Co., No. D062945, 2014 WL 1613449 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 22, 2014).

California Court of Appeals affirms a jury verdict finding an insurer liable for settlement costs of its insured when the insurer refused to defend its insured in bad faith.

. . . . . .

Published: June 1, 2014

Orange v. The Travelers Indemnity Co., No. 7:13-CV-06790-NSR (S.D.N.Y. May 14, 2014).

The Southern District of New York granted an insurer’s partial motion to dismiss insured’s separate claim of bad faith as duplicative where insured also maintained a breach of contract claim and both claims were predicated on the same underlying contractual dispute.

. . . . . .

Published: May 1, 2014

433 Main St. Realty, LLC v. Darwin Nat’l Assurance Co., No. 14-cv-587 (NGG) (VMS) (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 22, 2014)

Eastern District of New York dismisses claims for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and violation of § 349 of the New York State General Business Law, regarding deceptive business practices, in dispute arising from property damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

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Published: May 1, 2014

Meighan v. TransGuard Ins. Co. of Am., Inc., No. C13-3024-MWB, 2014 WL 1199596 (N.D. Iowa Mar. 24, 2014)

The Northern District of Iowa finds that claim reserves and settlement information created after litigation was reasonably foreseeable is protected by the work product doctrine, but that documentation of an insurer’s factual investigation and surveillance of the insured must be produced.

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Published: May 1, 2014

Quincy Mutual Fire Ins. Co. v. New York Central Mutual Fire Ins. Co., No 3:12-CV-1041-DEP (N.D.N.Y. March 31, 2014) The Northern District of New York held that a primary carrier that declined to settle an underlying lawsuit for policy limits multiple times, even in the face of evidence that damages were likely to exceed the combined limits of the primary and excess policies at issue, was liable to excess insurer for bad faith.

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Published: May 1, 2014

Honesdale Volunteer Ambulance Corp. Inc. v. Am. Alternative Ins. Corp., CIV.A. 3:11-1488, 2014 WL 1203317 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 24, 2014)

Middle District of Pennsylvania grants summary judgment on bad faith claim where insurer responded to the claim the day after it was made, twice investigated the building in question, acceded to insured's request to review its decision, and reasonably relied upon its expert engineer's report.

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Published: April 1, 2014

Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Wolfe, No. 12-4450 (3d Cir. Feb. 20, 2014)

Third Circuit petitions Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to decide whether an insured tortfeasor can assign his or her statutory bad faith claim against an insurer to an injured third party.

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Published: April 1, 2014

Keeney v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., No. 13-CV-00796-RPM, 2014 WL 622509 (D. Colo. Feb. 18, 2014)

District Court in Colorado grants defendant Insurer’s Motion for Summary Judgment where Insured’s failure to provide requested information to Insurer caused delay in ultimate denial of claim.

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Published: April 1, 2014

Meuser v. Allstate Ins. Co., A136243, 2014 WL 802535 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2014).

Court of Appeals of California finds no breach of contract or bad faith where actual cost of repairing fire-damaged home was higher than insurer’s initial estimate and holds that an insurer does not assume unlimited liability by exercising oversight over repair efforts.

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Published: March 1, 2014

Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. JT Walker Indus., Inc., Nos. 12-2256, 12-2350, 2014 WL 504086 (4th Cir. Feb. 10, 2014).

The Fourth Circuit permitted recovery of punitive damages for bad faith despite insured’s inability to prove actual or consequential damages, where the insurer’s settlement of underlying claims was found to be willful, wanton, or reckless.

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Published: March 1, 2014

Cofield v. Allstate Indem. Co., No. 1:12–cv–02100–HGD, 2014 WL 310447 (N.D. Ala. Jan. 28, 2014).

Northern District of Alabama finds no bad faith where insurer employed multiple adjusters and a Licensed Professional Engineer to investigate claim of damage to mobile home, and paid for portion of damages, the cause of which could not be determined with certainty.

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Published: March 1, 2014

Friedman Route 10, LLC v. Certain Underwriters At Lloyd’s, London, A-0434-13T1, 2014 WL 340087 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Jan. 22, 2014) (per curiam) (not reported in A.3d).

Superior Court of New Jersey upholds attorney-client privilege for communications between defendant insurer’s outside counsel and independent claims adjuster, where outside counsel was performing legal services for defendant insurer and claims adjuster “shared a common interest” with defendant insurer.

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Published: February 1, 2014

Moore v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. CIV-12-652-D, 2014 WL 200777 (W.D. Okla. Jan. 17, 2014).

Trial court rules that insurer’s failure to perform inspection of insureds’ home, even after making an offer to do so, before suit was filed could allow reasonable jurors to conclude that insurer’s conduct was in bad faith.

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Published: February 1, 2014

Klepper v. Ace American Ins. Co., No. 15A05-1212-CC-645 (Ind. Ct. App. Dec. 5, 2013)
Indiana Court of Appeals permits class action plaintiffs to pursue theory of bad faith claims handling even after dismissal of the class’s breach of contract claim.

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Published: January 1, 2014

Dye Seed, Inc. v. Farmland Mutual Insurance Company, No. 12-cv-0218, 2013 WL 6587914 (E. D. Wash. Dec. 16, 2013).

Eastern District of Washington rules that an insurer commits bad faith by relying on a policy from the wrong policy period to deny coverage when it is aware of other applicable policies that provide coverage.

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Published: January 1, 2014

Kmart Corp. v. Footstar, Inc., No. 09-CV-3607, 2013 WL 6670746 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 18, 2013).

Liberty refused to defend or indemnify Kmart for a personal injury lawsuit that Kmart settled. Thereafter, Kmart sought recovery of settlement and defense costs. Although the court granted summary judgment in favor of Kmart for Liberty’s failure to defend, it held that Liberty’s denial was not in bad faith because the issue of coverage was “fairly debatable.”

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Published: January 1, 2014

Cedar Ridge, LLC v. Landmark American Ins. Co., Civil Action No. 13-672, 2013 WL 6388577 (E.D. La. Dec. 6, 2013)

The Eastern District of Louisiana permits insured to seek broad discovery related to insurer’s claims handling and training for hurricane-related claims.

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Published: February 1, 2013

James v. State Farm Mutual Automotive Insurance Company, No. 11-60458, --- F.3d ----2014 WL 321842 (5th Cir. Jan. 28,2014).

5th Circuit holds that an insurer may commit bad faith by periods of inactivity within an investigation of an insured’s claim.

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