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District of Colorado: Insureds Have No Obligation To Hire Public Adjusters To Recover Amounts Due Under A Policy

Norman v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. 13-CV-01643-PAB-CBS, 2014 WL 6478046 (D. Colo. Nov. 19, 2014). District of Colorado holds that insured has no duty to hire own adjuster in order to receive payment, and denies...more

Court of Appeals of Michigan: Trial Court’s Incorrect Instruction on the Definition of Bad Faith Did Not Require Reversal

Tibble v. Am. Physicians Capital, Inc., No. 306944, 2014 WL 5462573 (Mich. Ct. App. Oct. 28, 2014). The Michigan Court of Appeals holds that although the trial court erred when it defined “bad faith” for the jury, the...more

ERISA Fiduciaries Have a Duty to Inform

SUMMARY: In this case, the court found that the employer, serving as plan administrator of a group life insurance plan providing basic and supplemental coverage, may be liable for monetary damages for breach of its fiduciary...more

How to Settle an ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case and Sleep at Night: A Checklist for Plan Trustees to Consider

Plan trustees often look to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought against them as a way to put the past behind them. Assuming there is enough fiduciary liability insurance coverage available to pay the proposed...more

Insurer Agrees to $140 Million Settlement in ERISA Case Challenging Revenue Sharing Practices

Nationwide Life Insurance Co. has agreed to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought on behalf of a class of retirement plan trustees that purchased annuity contracts and/or services from Nationwide for their plans....more

Court Rejects Fiduciary Duty Breach by Claims Administrator Acting on Behalf of Plan Sponsor

In the recently decided matter of Van Loo, et al. v. Cajun Operating Company, et al., No. 2:2014cv10604 (E.D. Mich. 2014), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan rejected allegations of a fiduciary duty...more

District Court Grants Motion To Stay Pending Arbitration Over Non-Signatory’s Opposition

In late August, a federal district court in Louisiana granted a group of defendants’ motion to stay pending arbitration. Plaintiff alleged breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud in connection with a trust account set...more

No Private Right to Recoup Funds Based on Corporate Practice of Medicine Violation

The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled recently that the state’s corporate practice of medicine doctrine does not provide a private right of action, either express or implied, and...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - November 2014

In This Issue: - Southern District of California Denies Motion to Dismiss Bad Faith Claim in Homeowners Policy Dispute - Northern District of Indiana: No Bad Faith Where Insurer Has a Rational Basis for its...more

Middle District of Pennsylvania: Mere Delay Does Not Constitute Bad Faith

Shaffer v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 1:13-CV-01837, 2014 WL 5325340 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 20, 2014). Court grants summary judgment to insurer where lengthy investigation was required to determine causation for UIM...more

Middle District of Florida: Court Denies Summary Judgment For Insured On First-Party Bad Faith Claim Where Permanence Of Injury...

Cadle v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., No. 6:13-CV-1591-ORL-31G, 2014 WL 4983746 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 6, 2014). Middle District of Florida finds that insured’s bad faith claim for first-party failure to settle could not properly be...more

Indemnification and Reimbursement Sought from Insurers Based on Allegedly Fraudulent Funding Program: Fifth Third Bancorp v. Ace...

Who: Plaintiffs: Fifth Third Bancorp and Fifth Third Bank Defendants: Ace Insurance Company, Axis Insurance Company, Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, Continental Insurance Company, Federal Insurance Company,...more

Southern District of California Denies Motion to Dismiss Bad Faith Claim in Homeowners Policy Dispute

Eastman v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 14cv0703, 2014 WL 5355036 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 20, 2014) - Southern District of California denies motion to dismiss bad faith claim in connection with coverage dispute under homeowners...more

Fifth Circuit Reaffirms the Importance of a Reasonable Claim Investigation Prior to Denial

In Santacruz v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, Inc., 2014 WL 5870429 (Nov. 13, 2014), the 5th Circuit allowed a policyholder to pursue a claim for common law and statutory bad faith even though the policyholder repaired the alleged...more

Untouchable? – New York Court Rules that Policyholders Have No Claims against Reinsurer (NICO) or Third-Party Claims Administrator...

In recent years, more than two dozen insurance companies, including Liberty Mutual, AIG, and CNA, have entered into reinsurance arrangements with National Indemnity Company (“NICO”), a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc....more

Missouri Court Allows Insured to Pursue Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim Against Excess Insurer

In its recent decision in SSM Health Care Corp. v. Repwest Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158164 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 7, 2014), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri had occasion to consider whether...more

Florida High Court To Decide Whether State Insurer Is Immune From Statutory Bad Faith Claims

The Florida Supreme Court has accepted for review a First District decision holding that Florida’s state insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, is not immune from a statutory bad faith failure to...more

Court Grants in Part and Denies in Part JPMorgan’s Motion to Dismiss RMBS Action

On October 16, Judge Susan J. Dlott of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio granted in part and denied in part several JPMorgan entities’ motion to dismiss a complaint filed by several Western &...more

Attack on Citizens’ Bad Faith Immunity Receives a Chilly Reception at Florida Supreme Court

In 2002, the Florida Legislature created Citizens Property Insurance Company Corporation (Citizens) to make affordable insurance available to Florida citizens who were not otherwise able to obtain property insurance. In...more

Does an Insurer Commit “Bad Faith” by Refusing to Settle Your Case?

Barry P. Goldberg is regularly asked whether an insurer is committing “bad faith” by failing or refusing to settle a case. Most accident victims do not realize that the “at fault” party’s insurer really owes virtually no duty...more

Life Insurer Prevails in First Circuit Appeal in ERISA Class Action Challenging Retained Asset Accounts

In a unanimous panel decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed a trial court’s ruling that the defendant, Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum), had breached fiduciary duties under the...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - October 2014

In This Issue: - Florida District Court of Appeal: A Prematurely Filed Bad Faith Claim Does Not Compel Dismissal - Florida District Court of Appeal: Insurer’s Liability For Breach Of Contract Need Not Be...more

National Union Prevails on $40 Million Coblentz Enforcement Action in D&O Case

On October 20, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted summary judgment to National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., in BondSafeguard v. National Union, 6:13-cv-561. The court held...more

Missouri Court of Appeals Rejects Insurers’ Appeal of Jury Verdict on Bad Faith Failure to Settle, but Remands for New Trial on...

Advantage Bldgs. & Exteriors, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., No. WD76880, 2014 WL 4290814 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2014), reh’g and/or transfer denied (Sept. 30, 2014). Missouri Court of Appeals affirms sufficiency of...more

Absent an Initial Showing That It Is a Fiduciary, Employer Is Immune from Breach of Fiduciary Liability Claim under ERISA in the...

In Moon v. BWX Technologies, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12525 (4th Cir. July 2, 2014), the Fourth Circuit rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims, determining that an employer’s failure to alert an employee...more

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