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Bad Faith Sentinel - April 2014

In This Issue: - Third Circuit Seeks Guidance from Pennsylvania Supreme Court Regarding Whether Insured Tortfeasor May Assign Bad Faith Claim to Injured Third Party - District of Colorado: Insurer Entitled To...more

Third Circuit Seeks Guidance from Pennsylvania Supreme Court Regarding Whether Insured Tortfeasor May Assign Bad Faith Claim to...

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...more

The New York Court of Appeals Considers the Consequences of a Liability Insurer’s Breach of the Duty to Defend

What are the consequences of a liability insurer’s breach of the duty to defend its insured against a potentially covered claim? Recent decisions from the New York Court of Appeals highlight differing views nationwide on...more

Insurance Recovery Law - Feb 26, 2014

Fourth Circuit Allows Punitive Damages Against Insurer For Bad Faith Despite Lack Of Actual Damages - Why it matters: A policyholder is not required to prove ascertainable damages to be entitled to an award of...more

Utica And Century Ordered To Mandatory Mediation In Reinsurance Dispute

Utica Mutual Insurance Company brought an action in 2013 against Century Indemnity Company (itself and against certain of its named predecessors) for breach of contract and breach of the duty of utmost good faith, as well as...more

A technical variance in a "998 offer" can preclude an award of costs

In Rouland v. Pacific Specialty Insurance Co. the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided an interesting case under California’s cost shifting provision, Code of Civil Procedure Section 998....more

Sixth Circuit Issues Shocking Opinion Against ERISA Insurer, Dramatically Changes The ERISA Landscape

In what can only be described as a shocking opinion, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 decision affirming a lower court's award of $3.8 million dollars in disgorged profits to a former president of Arthur J....more

Maryland Defendants Can Recover Attorneys' Fees Paid by Insurance Company

Litigants that have been forced to defend groundless litigation are entitled to recover their attorneys' fees even if those costs were paid by an insurance company, Maryland's highest court has ruled. ...more

New Jersey Court Holds That A Mediator May Not Also Serve As An Arbitrator

The New Jersey Appellate Division has held that an individual retained to serve as an arbitrator cannot act as a mediator and then return to the role of arbitrator. ...more

NJ Supreme Court Holds That Settlements Through Mediation Must Be Put In Writing

The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that “if the parties to mediation reach an agreement to resolve their dispute, the terms of that settlement must be reduced to writing and signed by the parties before the mediation comes...more

Long-Awaited Colorado Court of Appeals Stresscon Decision a Mixed Bag

Extends Notice-Prejudice Rule to Voluntary Payments under Liability Policies, Finds “Other Insurance” Clauses Curb Double Damages Penalties and Leaves Pertinent Bad Faith Question Unanswered - The Colorado Court of...more

Zhang v. Sup. Ct.: Violation of Unfair Insurance Practices Act May Support Unfair Competition Claim

In a highly awaited decision, the California Supreme Court in Zhang v. Sup. Ct. of San Bernardino County (August 1, 2013) 2013 Cal. LEXIS 6520, Case No. S178542, considered whether insurance practices that violate the...more

An Insurer Cannot Claim That It Was Unaware of Claims Handling Statutes As A Defense To Bad Faith

The South Dakota Supreme Court in Bertelsen v. Allstate Insurance Co., 833 N.W.2d 545, No. 26442 (June 12, 2013) (1) held that an insurer cannot avoid bad faith liability by claiming it did not know about controlling claims...more

Insurance Bad Faith: Conduct Counts

Bad faith claims are on the rise in North Carolina. As an insurer, you must familiarize yourself with the possible grounds for such claims so you will know how best to avoid them. As you will see below, the outcome of a bad...more

Inadequate Investigation By Insurer Is Insufficient To Support Finding Of Bad Faith

Tenth Circuit Holds That Inadequate Investigation By Insurer Is Insufficient To Support Finding Of Bad Faith Unless A Proper Investigation Would Have Revealed The Claim Should Have Been Paid - In Bannister v. State Farm...more

Weekly Law Resume - August 8, 2013: Insurance Coverage – Bad Faith - Unfair Claim Act Cause of Action

Yanting Zhang v. The Superior Court of San Bernardino County California Supreme Court (August 2, 2013) In Moradi-Shalal v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Companies (1988) 46 Cal.3d 287, 304 (Moradi-Shalal) the California...more

Weekly Law Resume - July 18, 2013: Insurance Coverage – Attempted Recovery of Independent Counsel Fees

J.R. Marketing, L.L.C. et al. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, First District (June 11, 2013) - Under the Independent Counsel provisions of Civil Code Section 2860, a carrier that defends...more

Policy Observer - July 2013

Getting Over the Bar: Second Circuit Requires Actual Payment of Underlying Limits In Order to Trigger Excess D&O Policies - In June, the Second Circuit held that two Federal Insurance Company ("FIC") excess D&O...more

7th Circuit Rules Employee May Recover Monetary Damages In ERISA Claim For Unpaid Benefits Against Insurer Who Denied Coverage...

The Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Kenseth v. Dean Health Plan, Inc. provides a means for employees to collect monetary relief on their claim for benefits if they can show that the terms of the plan were not clear, and...more

How has New York law on bad faith claims against insurers developed since the Bi-Economy and Panasia decisions?

R. Steven Anderson and Kyle M. Medley provide analysis and historical perspective of two 2008 decisions from New York’s highest court. The full article, Tempest in a Teapot: New York’s Bi-Economy Decision Five Years Later,...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- Jun 27, 2013

Policyholders Who Audit Their Policy Language Before Coverage Disputes Arise Can Avoid Problems Down The Road - Policyholders purchase excess insurance policies to provide themselves with additional layers of...more

Health Insurance Carriers Must Also Be Careful In What They Tell Plan Participants

I blogged recently warning employers to be careful when enrolling employees in plan benefits because the employer could be responsible to pay life insurance or disability benefits if an employee who is improperly enrolled...more

New York Court Allows Disgorgement Coverage Action to Proceed

In its recent decision in J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc. v. Vigilant Ins. Co., 2013 N.Y. LEXIS 1465 (NY June 11, 2013), New York’s Court of Appeals – New York’s highest court – had occasion to consider whether an insured can...more

No Bad Faith Recovery Based on Insurer’s Investigation of Claims Under Connecticut Law

On certification from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, the Supreme Court of Connecticut recently issued an opinion holding that an insurer’s bad faith conduct in the investigation of a third-party...more

First Circuit Permits Insurer to Retain Policy Premiums Despite Rescission

Courts often require insurers to return premiums (or at least offer to return them) when rescinding an insurance policy. Some states may even require it under statute. The reason is that rescission is an equitable remedy...more

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