Business Torts Insurance

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Arizona Court of Appeals Reverses $1 Million Award of Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case for Alleged “Institutional Bad...

In Sobieski v. Am. Standard Ins. Co. of Wisconsin, 2016 WL 5436588 (Ariz.App. Sept. 29, 2016), despite upholding a bad faith judgment for an insurer conducting an unreasonable investigation and denying a claim, the Arizona...more

What Standard Governs the Dismissal of a Relator's Claim for Violation of the False Claims Act's Seal Requirement in an Action...

In the aftermath of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Cori and Kerri Rigsby accused State Farm Fire and Casualty Company of falsely misclassifying wind damage as flood damage, among other misdeeds, leaving...more

In the Tenth Circuit, Colorado’s On-Going Debate over the “Fairly Debatable” Defense

A recent Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, The Home Loan Investment Co. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 827 F.3d 1256 (10th Cir. 2016), demonstrates that, although multiple jurisdictions may recognize similar defenses...more

NEW UPDATE: Is Your Workers’ Compensation Program Unlawful?

In two previous posts, on April 19, 2016 and June 21, 2016, we reported on the EquityComp workers’ compensation program offered by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries Applied Underwriters (Applied) and California Insurance...more

UnitedHealth Plan Holders Win Class Certification in ERISA Lawsuit

The District Court for the Northern District of California recently granted certain members of UnitedHealth health plans class certification in their suit alleging improper denial of benefits. Plaintiffs in the putative...more

5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense: Early Damages Analysis and Discovery

The fifth of my “5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense” (April 30, 2016 post) is to move securities class action damages expert reports and discovery ahead of fact discovery. This simple change would allow the...more

"Assuming" the Obvious: Exclusion for “Assumption of Liability in a Contract” Does Not Apply to Breach of Professional Services

In what it described as a case of first impression, the Northern District of California ruled that a professional liability policy that excluded the insured’s “assumption of liability obligations in a contract or agreement”...more

Collateral lies: The lie is dishonest but the claim is not

The Supreme Court rules that a collateral lie embellishing a valid claim does not amount to a fraudulent claim. Versloot Dredging BV and another (Appellants) v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG and others [2016] UKSC...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Constitutional Limits on Punitive Damages

In Brandt v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court held that when a plaintiff proves that an insurance company withheld policy benefits in bad faith, attorneys' fees reasonably incurred to compel payment of the...more

5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense: Greater Director Involvement in Securities Litigation Defense and D&O Insurance

One of my “5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense” (April 30, 2016 post) is greater involvement by boards of directors in decisions concerning D&O insurance and the defense of securities litigation, including...more

D&O Insurance—Issues to Consider Before a Claim Arises

In Depth - Directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance remains a vital issue for companies and their directors and officers as potential sources of liability continue to evolve. More securities lawsuits were filed...more

South Carolina District Court Finds There Is No Separate Cause Of Action For Apportionment Under South Carolina’s Contribution...

Plaintiff Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Company (“Companion”) participated in a fronted insurance program with Redwood and Freestone. Reinsurance collateral trusts were established for Companion’s benefit and...more

5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense: Greater Insurer Involvement in Defense-Counsel Selection and Strategy

One of my “5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense” last month was for greater D&O insurer involvement in securities class action defense. This simple step would have extensive benefits for public companies and their...more

Case Reminds Insurance Agents to Review Process of Receiving Approval from Insureds Before Submitting Applications to Carriers

Schmidt v. Indiana Insurance Co., No. 22S01-1507-PL-412, Supreme Court of Indiana, December 2, 2015 - Plaintiff was the owner of a house in which he allowed his cousin to live from 2007 to 2009. When the cousin moved...more

Vanishing premiums part deux?

Those of you with gray hair like me may recall the life insurance vanishing premium lawsuits from the mid-1990s. As a refresher, that flood of lawsuits arose from life insurance policies sold in the 80s (mainly whole or...more

Pennsylvania Federal Court Remands Litigation Against Broker Back To State Court, Finding That Party Was Not Fraudulently Joined

The background of this case is that Boomerang Recoveries LLC, a reinsurance program review company, investigated Farmers Insurance Company’s reinsurance contracts to identify any premiums Farmers had been overcharged in...more

Defence & Indemnity - April 2016: I. INSURANCE ISSUES

General information of claims practices and company personnel obtained by an insurer’s in-house counsel is not the type of confidential information that will disqualify the lawyer from acting as Plaintiff’s counsel against...more

An Injunction By Another Name May Still Immediately Be Appealed

The Third Circuit recently reaffirmed its authority to hear appeals from district court interlocutory orders that grant prospective equitable relief under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1), even where injunctive relief had not expressly...more

Colorado Supreme Court: Insurers Need Not Show Prejudice to Enforce No-Voluntary-Payments Provision of Insurance Policy

On April 25, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court overturned a decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals and Colorado District Court in what is believed to be a seminal victory for insurers. In Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am. v....more

The financial advisor who sells a trustee an insurance contract that is inappropriate in light of the trust's purposes risks...

It is an understatement that the Minnesota Court of Appeals in In re: Amendment and Restatement of Revocable Living Trust of Alfred J. Berget dated February 15, 2005 [A13-2295, Dec. 8, 2014] afforded the trustee who had...more

Blog: Court Of Appeal Approves Third Party Costs Order Against An Insurer

In Legg & Ors v Sterte Garage Ltd and Aviva UK Limited [2016] EWCA Civ 97, the Court of Appeal upheld the first instance decision that a third party costs order made against the defendant insurer was justified in...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending April 1, 2016

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - - Foreclosure: remittitur, rather than reversal of summary judgment, is proper where lender failed to provide sufficient evidence of late charges at summary judgment – Newman v. Ocwen Loan...more

A-1 Self-Storage Unit Protection Plan: California Court of Appeal Defers to Agency Interpretation of the Insurance Code

The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a ruling that an optional protection plan in a storage rental contract to transfer the risk of property damage or loss from the renter to the rental company did not transform...more

Insurance Coverage – Equitable Subrogation – Doctrine of Superior Equities

Amco Insurance Company, et al. v All Solutions Insurance Agency, LLC - Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District (February 8, 2016) - Equitable subrogation is most commonly employed when an insurer pays its...more

Penalty Declined – Party Escapes Summary Judgment Despite Evasive Discovery Responses

On February 17, 2016, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District in People ex rel. Government Employees Insurance Company (“GEICO”) v. Cruz (Court of Appeal D067061, Superior Court Case 37-2013-00029878),...more

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