Business Torts Insurance

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Arizona Reduces Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case Again: Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance

In Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance Company, 235 Ariz. 371, 332 P.3d 597 (App. 2014), despite finding an insurer’s conduct moderately to highly reprehensible, the Arizona Court of Appeals recently reduced a punitive...more

Five Takeaways from the First Cyber Insurance Case

On May 11, 2015, in a case that is being widely celebrated as one of the first coverage rulings involving a “cyber” insurance policy, a federal court ruled that Travelers has no duty to defend its insured in Travelers...more

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

Sixth Circuit Refuses to Create a Cause of Action for Reverse Bad Faith

In an opinion handed down last week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to adopt a new cause of action under Kentucky law for a reverse bad faith claim by an insurer against its insured where the Kentucky Supreme...more

Allegations of Purposeful Data Withholding Do Not Trigger Cyber E&O Coverage

In Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America v. Federal Recovery Servs., Inc., Case No. 2:14-CV-170 TS (D. Utah May 11, 2015), the United States District Court for the District of Utah held that where a cyber liability...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

Middle District of Pennsylvania: No Bad Faith Where Insurer’s Brief Inspection Yielded Reasonable Basis to Deny Claim

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...more

En Banc Mississippi Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer, Adjuster and Employer on Bad Faith Claims Arising from...

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...more

Texas Insurers: Don’t Forget ‘Excessive Demand Doctrine’

With the onslaught of recent hail and other weather related litigation, insurance carriers routinely see excessive and unreasonable settlement demands in statutorily required presuit notice letters. The “excessive demand...more

California’s “Independent” Cumis Counsel Regime Faces A Novel Challenge

On May 5, the California Supreme Court will hear argument in a case that has the potential to profoundly change the relationship between the insurer, its insured and the insured’s independent defense counsel under Civil Code...more

All “Intentional Tort” Claims By Employees May Now Be Uninsurable

On March 12, 2015, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued a decision in Hoyle v. DTJ Enterprises, Inc., holding that an insurance provision that excludes coverage for acts committed with the “deliberate intent to injure an...more

California Court Upholds Exclusion in Policy Application

In Crown Capital Securities, L.P. v. Endurance American Specialty Ins. Co., 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 305, the California Court of Appeal had the opportunity to consider a denial of coverage based on an exclusion stated in the...more

“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”: Preparing Your Corporate Representative for Deposition

Recently, in Sciarretta v. Lincoln Nat’l Life Ins. Co., the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed monetary sanctions against a non-party corporation for the bad faith preparation of its designated corporate witness....more

Participant’s Estate Fails to Show a Claim For Failure to Give Notice of Right to Continue Life Insurance Coverage: Estate of...

Providing a practical lesson on determining a duty to give notice to ERISA participants, the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida dismissed the claim by the estate of an ERISA group life insurance plan...more

Georgia Supreme Court: Insured Cannot Sue for Settlement Amount of Bad Faith Absent Insurer’s “Consent to Settle”

On April 20, 2015, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously held that when an insured fails to seek its insurer’s consent to settle a claim, the insured cannot pursue litigation against its insurer to recover settlement amounts...more

Illinois Court Holds No Duty to Defend Malicious Prosecution Suit

In Indian Harbor Ins. Co. v. City of Waukegan, 2015 IL App (2d) 140293 (Ill. App. Ct. 2d Dist. 2015) the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, had occasion to consider when coverage for a malicious prosecution claim...more

CMS Fines Insurer for Misleading Medicare Part D Beneficiaries

The federal agency that oversees Medicare’s prescription drug program has alleged that a major U.S. insurance company misled beneficiaries about the pharmacies included in the company’s drug plan, and imposed a $1 million...more

Illinois Supreme Court Addresses Duty of Care Owed by Insurance Agents

On March 19, 2015, in its decision in Skaperdas v. Country Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 IL 117021 (Ill. Mar. 19, 2015), the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed an appellate court decision holding that Section 2-2201 of the Illinois Code...more

4th Circuit Finds Insurer Was Not Required to Provide Notice Prior to Cancelling Life Insurance Policy for Unpaid Premium

An insured’s failure to make payments on his life insurance policy led it to lapse before his death according to Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Wactor v. Jackson National Life Insurance Co., No. 13-2367, 2015 WL 1020653...more

Motor Carriers Are Liable For Injuries to Drivers of Leased Vehicles Who Are Classified As Independent Contractors

Jose Vargas v. FMI, Inc. et al. - In Vargas, California’s Second Appellate District held that the Privette doctrine does not shield a motor carrier operating under a federal franchise from liability for tort injuries...more

Everest Indemnity Insurance Company v. Rea - Court Addresses Whether Insurance Company’s Consult With Counsel Constitutes Waiver...

Rudolfo Brothers Plastering, Inc. claimed that Everest Indemnity Insurance Company acted in bad faith by entering into a settlement agreement that exhausted the liability coverage of an Owner Controlled Insurance Program...more

Nature Of Reinsurance Relationship Precludes Dismissal Of Negligence Claim Brought By Reinsurer Against Cedent

A federal district court has denied a cedent’s motion to dismiss a negligence claim brought against it by its reinsurer, Old Republic National Title Insurance. The dispute between Old Republic and First American Title arose...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Captive Insurance Agents Owe Limited Tort Duty to Clients

Section 2-2201 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that “[a]n insurance producer . . . shall exercise ordinary care and skill in renewing, procuring, binding, or placing the coverage requested by the insured or proposed...more

En Banc Sixth Circuit Rules Against Disgorgement Remedy in Benefits Case

In Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 12-2074 (6th Cir. March 5, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, ruled that an insurance company that wrongfully denied benefits to...more

Indiana Court Dismisses Bad Faith Allegations and Praises Insurer for Timely Claims-Handling

A recent federal District Court decision from Indiana, Autumn Glen Homeowners Ass’n. v. Travelers Ind. Co. of America, 2015 WL 1256391, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33317 (S.D. Ind., Mar. 18, 2015) provides insight into both...more

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