Civil Procedure Insurance

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The Advantages of Removal: Twombly and Iqbal Applied to Bad Faith Claims

This month, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an opinion that reminds insurance carriers and their counsel that it is often beneficial to remove certain cases to federal court. While federal court offers many...more

Genuine Dispute Over Cause of Damage and Insureds’ Demolition Before Inspection Negate Bad Faith and Elder Abuse Claims

In Paslay v. State Farm General Ins. Co. (No. B265348, filed 6/27/16), a California appeals court found triable issues of fact regarding whether State Farm breached its contract in paying a water loss, but affirmed summary...more

Just How Is Basis Acquired After All?

Dorrance v. U.S., 2015 WL 8241954 (9th Cir. 2015) - This case is the latest in the cases involving tax impact of the sale of stock received by a policy holder from a mutual life insurance company on demutualization, and...more

5th Circ. Brings Consistency to Improper-Joinder Analysis

Weather events in recent years have led to a surge of lawsuits seeking coverage for property damage. Often, in an effort to defeat diversity jurisdiction, a Texas resident will sue both a foreign insurance company and a...more

Eighth Circuit to insurers: Settlement evaluation must constantly adapt to litigation developments

A recent decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit taught an insurer a costly lesson about trying to avoid extra-contractual liability: Insurers must constantly reevaluate their settlement position throughout...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

Is Anyone Home? Washington Supreme Court Interprets Two-Step Vacancy Endorsement

Disputes involving “vacancy” exclusions typically involve the appropriate definition of that word. The recently-decided case of Lui v. Essex Ins. Co., 2016 Wash. LEXIS 692 (Wash. June 9, 2016) presents a somewhat different...more

Colorado Supreme Court Limits Use of Extrinsic Evidence and Reasonable Expectations Doctrine

On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its decision in American Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hansen, No. 14SC99 (Colo. June 20, 2016), holding that extrinsic evidence can only be used to interpret ambiguous policy language,...more

Everest Indemnity Insurance Company v. Rea Rejects Implied Waiver Of The Attorney-Client Privilege

As it stands now, the majority decision in Everest is clear: No implied waiver of the attorney-client privilege occurs where adjusters themselves make the claims decisions and do not rely on the advice of counsel to form...more

New wave of putative class actions challenge cost of insurance charges

In recent months, life insurers across the country have faced a new onslaught of putative cost of insurance class actions. These cases bring novel theories but may also revive a decades-old jurisprudential debate over whether...more

California Supreme Court Holds That Brandt Fees Awarded Post-Trial By A Court Must Be Included In Denominator Of...

On June 9, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Co., holding that so-called Brandt fees should be treated as compensatory damages when calculating the ratio of...more

Insurer’s Potential Exposure to Fees and Costs When Prosecuting Indemnity Action under Assignment from Insured

Hearn Pacific Corporation v. Second Generation Roofing, Inc. - Court of Appeal, First Appellate District (May 2, 2016) - It is not uncommon in construction defect and some other cases for an insurer of the general...more

Dart Cherokee: Shifting The Burden To Plaintiff in Federal Diversity Cases

Under Dart, a Plaintiff contesting that the jurisdictional threshold has not been met must now come forward with evidence that establishes the jurisdictional amount in controversy is not present. We’ve all seen this...more

‘Sorry, But You Have Nothing in Common’: The New York Court of Appeals’ Recent Rejection of the ‘Common Interest Doctrine’...

The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, recently rejected an attempt to apply the “common interest doctrine,” an exception to the general rule that communicating privileged information to a third party...more

The Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 and Its Impact on Subrogated Claims

It has been some time coming, but on August 1, 2016, the operative provisions of the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 (the Act) will come into force. The Act will significantly improve the subrogation...more

Illinois Federal Court Rules That Cedent’s Claims Are Time-Barred

Our prior discussion of this case, and relevant background, can be found here. In 2012, Pine Top Receivables of Illinois, LLC (“PTRIL”) brought an action against Banco de Seguros del Estado (“Banco”) to recover sums...more

Contractual Waiver of Subrogation Applied to Owner’s Non-Work Property

After an insurer pays for a covered loss by an owner under a property policy the insurer generally has the right, whether under the common law, statute or the policy itself, to seek recovery of the payment from the...more

JSH Reporter - Summer 2016

We are excited to announce the launch of our Summer 2016 JSH Reporter! The JSH Reporter is designed to provide information about changes in the law and how these affect a variety of industries. In this issue, you will...more

When does the statute of limitations set in on an insurer’s wrongful refusal to settle?

Normally, the statute of limitations sets in when “the cause of action shall have accrued,” to quote California Code of Civil Procedure section 312. In an effort to simplify that date for lay readers, the Sacramento County...more

Florida Court Declines to Apply a Multiplier as to Attorneys’ Fees in a First Party Insurance Coverage Dispute

In Fla. Peninsula Ins. Co. v. Wagner, 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 8262 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016), the Second District examined whether the trial court properly applied a multiplier as to attorneys’ fees after the insured homeowners...more

Court Dismisses Second-Filed Reinsurance Dispute Under First-Filed Rule Though Both Cases Assigned To Same Judge

Earlier this month, a federal court in Pennsylvania faced the issue of whether it must file a second-filed suit even though the first-filed suit was transferred to the same court, and judge, as the second. The issue arose out...more

Round Up The Usual And Customary Suspects: Insurers May Determine UCR Prices By Shopping At Retail Outlets

For more than a decade, medical providers have tried to limit the discretion of automobile insurers to pay less than the billed amount for services and equipment offered to injured insureds. Most of these efforts involve...more

Arizona Federal District Court Finds No Coverage for P.F. Chang’s for PCI Assessments

In one of the first decisions construing coverage under a stand-alone cyber insurance policy in the wake of a large-scale cyber security breach, the Arizona Federal District Court rejected restaurant franchisor P.F. Chang’s...more

Oregon Court of Appeals Holds that “Common Issue” Exception Applies to Permit Defendant Contractor to Recover Attorney’s Fees From...

In The Village at North Pointe Condominiums Association v. Bloedel Construction Co. et al., 278 Or App 354 (2016), the Oregon Court of Appeals held that defendant contractor could recover attorneys’ fees against a homeowners...more

The Attack on Attorney-Client Privilege in Insurance Cases

Policyholder lawyers are a creative group. One of the more recent manifestations of this creativity is the attempt to attack the attorney-client privilege in the context of insurance coverage disputes. While these attacks...more

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