Kurt Melchior

Kurt Melchior

Nossaman LLP

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Long Term Disability Payments: Standard for Abuse of Discretion

Insurance for long term disability – payments to an insured who is prevented from earning his or her income due to long term disability – is a fruitful field for litigation for many reasons. Though the insurance may be...more

9/12/2016 - Abuse of Discretion Denial of Benefits Disability Benefits ERISA Long Term Disability Insurance Medical Evaluation Reports MetLife

When does the statute of limitations set in on an insurer’s wrongful refusal to settle?

Normally, the statute of limitations sets in when “the cause of action shall have accrued,” to quote California Code of Civil Procedure section 312. In an effort to simplify that date for lay readers, the Sacramento County...more

6/22/2016 - Cause of Action Accrual Duty to Settle Insurance Industry Statute of Limitations Third-Party

Scope of Insurers’ Subrogation Rights Reexamined

Insurance companies often seek subrogation after they paid a claim, even at times squeezing their insureds for first place in line to recover their respective damages from a tortfeasor. The law has imposed certain...more

2/26/2016 - Insurance Claims Insurance Industry Subrogation

Are Insurers Engaged in Deceptive Practices and Illegal Pricing? If so, what can be done about it?

We wish to call attention to a disturbing trend, that even in the highly regulated field of personal lines coverage, homeowners and auto policies, the insurance industry is engaged in courses of conduct designed to write...more

10/6/2015 - Auto Insurance Insurance Agents Insurance Brokers Insurance Industry Insurance Rates Price Optimization Property Insurance Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

New Developments on Interplay between Whistleblower Actions and Other Attacks on Hospital Discipline

Hospitals and their medical staffs may consider it time to dust off their bylaws, in consideration of a recent legal development in a peer review proceeding. Last year, the California Supreme Court held that Mark T....more

7/2/2015 - CA Supreme Court Health and Safety Healthcare Hiring & Firing Judicial Review Peer Review Retaliation Sutter Health Whistleblowers

Are the Days Numbered for a Free Pass for Liability Insurers?

Next week the California Supreme Court will hear argument in Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court, a case which raises (again) the question whether an insurer must provide coverage for third party claims arising from injuries...more

5/20/2015 - CA Supreme Court Fluor Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company Insurance Industry Insurance Litigation Third-Party

To Understand King v. Burwell Look To Yates v. US

On March 4, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard argument in King v. Burwell, the most publicized case to reach the high court in some time. The issue is whether certain tax subsidies essential to the proper fiscal management...more

3/23/2015 - Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Health Insurance Exchanges King v Burwell SCOTUS Statutory Interpretation Subsidies US v Yates

Has the Supreme Court Given Advance Notice How It Will Decide King v. Burwell?

On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court will hear argument in King v. Burwell, the most publicized case in some time. Most readers are aware that the issue is whether certain tax subsidies essential to the proper...more

3/5/2015 - Affordable Care Act Employer Group Health Plans Employer Mandates Health Insurance Health Insurance Exchanges King v Burwell Oral Argument SCOTUS Subsidies Tax Credits

Should the Insurance Commissioner Actually Read the Policy Forms Submitted for Approval?

Dave Jones identifies himself to voters as an activist Insurance Commissioner who champions the insurance consumers’ rights. This is the guy who took on the insurance industry practice of side arbitration agreements in...more

10/17/2014 - Department of Insurance Insurance Commissioners

Excess Insurer Contract Language Amounts to Free Pass

Excess insurance is essential to businesses of medium or larger size because it provides catastrophe coverage at much lesser rates per dollar of coverage than primary insurance. There are two main reasons for this: The excess...more

10/9/2014 - Contract Drafting Contract Formation Excess Policies Indemnification Indemnity Agreements

Impact to Calif. Employers From Hobby Lobby Ruling

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, holding that closely held corporations could refuse to provide contraceptive coverage mandated by U.S. Department of Health...more

7/15/2014 - Affordable Care Act Burwell v Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Contraceptives Employer Group Health Plans Employer Liability Issues Employer Mandates Hobby Lobby Religious Freedom Restoration Act SCOTUS

The Surprising Truth about Hobby Lobby's Effect in California

On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, holding that closely-held corporations could refuse to provide contraceptive coverage mandated by U.S....more

7/3/2014 - Affordable Care Act Burwell v Hobby Lobby Closely Held Businesses Conflicts of Laws Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Contraceptives Health Insurance HHS Hobby Lobby Knox Keene Religion Religious Exemption Religious Freedom Restoration Act SCOTUS Small Business

What Has Fahlen Wrought?

The California Supreme Court's decision in Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals has confirmed (not created) a sea change in the relations between hospitals and their medical staffs on the one hand, and physicians on such...more

4/18/2014 - Anti-SLAPP Disciplinary Proceedings Discovery Hiring & Firing Hospitals Physicians Retaliation Sutter Termination Whistleblowers

Reid Ruling Ignores Calif. Precedent

A good deal has already been written about the recent Reid case in California, but there is more to be said. On Oct. 7, 2013, Division 8 of the Second District Court of Appeals held in Reid v. Mercury Insurance Company, No....more

12/24/2013 - Car Accident Negligence Policy Limits Settlement

Complicating The Duties Of In-House Counsel

A recent case seems to complicate the duties of counsel representing an employer where an employee is a witness in the case. A blue collar employee was seriously injured at work. Another blue collar employee was the...more

12/17/2013 - Conflicts of Interest Corporate Counsel Internal Investigations Investigations

Decision Stings Insureds, Though Impact Overstated

Generations of policyholders' coverage lawyers have feasted on the very brief, 4-paragraph 1928 opinion of Judge Augustus Hand in Zeig v. Massachusetts Bonding & Insurance Co., 23 F. 2d 655, which held that an excess insurer...more

8/14/2013 - Contract Drafting Excess Policies Insurance Industry Policy Limits Third-Party

Revolution in Disputes Between Hospitals and Their Physicians?

Originally published in the Daily Journal on August 24, 2012. A new decision of the state Court of Appeal last week may change the way disputes between hospitals and their privileged physicians will play out. In Fahlen...more

8/24/2012 - Collateral Estoppel Hospitals Patent Exhaustion Peer Review Physicians Reappointment Retaliation Whistleblowers Writ of Mandamus

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