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Middle District of Pennsylvania: No Bad Faith Where Plaintiff’s Failure to Perform Contractual Duties Was the Reason for Delay

On December 24, 2013, a fire destroyed Plaintiffs’ home. Plaintiffs’ homeowners’ policy, issued by State Farm, required insureds to submit personal property inventories within sixty days after a loss. Three days after the...more

Is Negligence Enough for Bad Faith? The Eleventh Circuit Rejects an Invitation to Let the Georgia Supreme Court Decide

In a two-paragraph opinion following oral argument, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court’s judgment that Nationwide was liable for either negligent or bad faith failure to settle a claim. The trial...more

Higher Education Highlights - Summer 2017

Professor Deprived of Due Process Through Salary Reduction - Due process with respect to an employee’s property interest in employment is a vitally important consideration at public institutions, and, as a recent case...more

Younger Abstention in Title IX Litigation: A Tale of Two Outcomes

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed a district court decision holding that the federal trial court must abstain from judicial review of an ongoing disciplinary proceeding against a student at...more

FCA Claim of “Phantom Students” Won’t Continue to Haunt College, Says Ninth Circuit

The for-profit education company Kaplan, Inc. recently scored a win when the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed Kaplan’s summary judgment victory in a decade-long False Claims Act suit. This case shows that while...more

D.C. Circuit Strikes Down EPA Reporting Exemptions for Animal Waste

On April 11, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down an EPA final rule which exempted animal feeding operations from air pollution reporting requirements. Under the 2008 rule, farms did not...more

4/20/2017  /  CERCLA , EPA , EPCRA , Reporting Requirements

Cyberattacker Offers Access to Private Data From 60 Universities and Agencies

In February 2017, a private threat intelligence firm alerted more than 60 organizations – institutions of higher education and governmental entities – that their internal databases had been breached by a Russian-speaking...more

Eastern District of Pennsylvania: No Bifurcation Where Bad Faith Could Exist Independently of Breach of Contract

Eizen Fineburg & McCarthy, P.C. v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co., No. 2:16-cv-02461-JHS, 2017 WL 194226 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 18, 2017)? - On January 30, 2011, law firm Eizen Fineburg & McCarthy, P.C. (“the Firm”), purchased a...more

College Pays Bitcoin Ransom to Unlock Encrypted Data

The scourge of “ransomware”—malicious computer viruses that prevent entities from accessing their own data until they pay a ransom—has spread to the higher education sphere. In early January 2017, a California public...more

Middle District of Pennsylvania: Where Declination of Defense is Grounded in a Reasonable Basis, No Bad Faith Exists Under...

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...more

The False Claims Act’s Anti-Retaliation Provision Protects Employees Who Engage in Efforts to Stop Violations By Their...

In Carlson v. DynCorp, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit addressed 2009 and 2010 amendments to the False Claims Act (“FCA”) that broadened the scope of its anti-retaliation protection for...more

New Jersey Joins Growing Number of States in Implementing Measures to Curb Student Suicide

On August 1, 2016, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed the Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act, which requires institutions of higher education to ensure that mental health counselors are available to students 24 hours...more

Affirmative Action after Fisher II: Lessons from the University of Texas Experience

Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the use of race as a “factor of a factor of a factor” in the University of Texas’s admissions program, institutions can glean some guidance from the decision to create and administer...more

When Government Walks in Industry’s Shoes, FCA May Not Apply (and Vice Versa)

In November, an Illinois federal judge blocked a former bank employee from collecting his claimed relator’s share of a potential settlement between the FDIC (acting as the bank’s receiver) and the bank’s former directors. In...more

Higher Education Highlights - Fall 2015

Risk managers who also happen to be attorneys are not always protected by the attorney-client privilege, according to a recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In Casey v. Unitek...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - September 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...more

Major Changes to Laws Protecting Minors: Pennsylvania as Bellwether for New Child Protection Legislation?

In the wake of several high-profile cases of child abuse, Pennsylvania’s General Assembly has been on the vanguard of state legislatures’ efforts to reduce the risk of harm to children. Since 2013, Pennsylvania’s lawmakers...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - July 2015

Eighth Circuit: No Bad Faith Where Insured Failed to Make a Sufficient Demand and Insurer Refused to Entertain Settlement Offer Prior to Completing Investigation - Purscell v. Tico Ins. Co., No. 13-2362, 2015 WL 3855253...more

Ninth Circuit: Relators Can’t Profit from their Own Criminal Conduct

In a matter of first impression, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a relator cannot partake of proceeds from an FCA action if he has been convicted of criminal conduct arising from his role in the fraud. A...more

Pennsylvania Approves Major Changes to Laws Protecting Minors

The Pennsylvania Legislature has passed – and Gov. Tom Wolf has signed – House Bill 1276 to amend the state’s Child Protective Services Law. The amended law contains a number of clarifying revisions to the mandated reporting...more

Middle District of Pennsylvania: Possibility of Bad Faith Exists Despite Payment of Claim Where Insured Alleges Untimely Claims...

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...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - April 2015

In This Issue: - En Banc Mississippi Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer, Adjuster and Employer on Bad Faith Claims Arising from Denial of Coverage and Benefits for Work-Related Injury -...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - March 2015

In This Issue: - District of Colorado Sinks Insurer’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Bad Faith Claim Where Insurer Allegedly Failed To Timely Investigate Available Coverage for Boating Accident - Eastern...more

District of Arizona: Employee’s Intentional, Incorrect, and Unreasonable Handling of Claim Subjects Insurer to Finding of Bad...

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...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - February 2015

In This Issue: - Western District of Washington: Insured That Violated Duties of Notice and Cooperation Could Not Make Out Claim for Bad Faith Based on Insurer’s Lengthy Investigation - Western District of...more

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