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If You Are a Third-Party Beneficiary, Make Sure the Contract Is Crystal Clear!

In Be Clear if You Want to Have a “Third-Party Beneficiary” in Your Contract, I discussed that if in-house counsel wanted to ensure that a person or entity achieved the status of a third-party beneficiary, it was critical to...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

Is That Covered? Hail Damage

Back in May, 2014, parts of Berks and Lancaster counties were hit with a freak hail storm. With hail as large as tennis balls reported, homes and cars suffered significant damage. Hail damage is generally covered under auto...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

Catch Me If You Can: Fake Doctor’s Application Voids Coverage for Himself But Not for Innocent Co-Insureds

Written like a blockbuster Hollywood film, the U.S. District Court in South Carolina, in Evanston Insurance Company v. Agape Senior Primary Care, et al., 2014 WL 5365679, issued a ruling October 21, 2014, in which it held...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

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

Missouri Court of Appeals Affirms Award of Compensatory Damages Against Insurer Based Upon Bad Faith Failure to Settle and Overall...

The Missouri Court of Appeals recently affirmed an award of compensatory damages against an insurer based upon bad faith in Advantage Bldgs. & Exteriors, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2014 Mo. App. LEXIS 975 (Missouri Court...more

AMJ Investments May Not Alter Texas Claims Landscape

Section 541 of the Texas Insurance Code authorizes a private cause of action through which an insured can recover the “actual damages” caused by its insurer’s violation of the statute’s fair-claims handling provisions. And,...more

Eleventh Circuit Rejects Excess Insurers Bad Faith Claim Against Primary Insurer Due to Lack of Damages Causation

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Florida district court’s award of damages to the excess insurer on the ground that the excess insurer failed to prove the primary insurer’s alleged bad faith had caused the...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - June 2014

In This Issue: - Court of Appeals of the State of Washington: Bad Faith Damages May Exceed the Amount of a Reasonable Covenant - Southern District of Mississippi: Insurer Providing Coverage Opinion to Insured...more

Court of Appeals of the State of Washington: Bad Faith Damages May Exceed the Amount of a Reasonable Covenant Judgment

Miller v. Kenny, No. 68594-5-I, 2014 WL 1672946 (Wash. Ct. App. Apr. 28, 2014) - The Court of Appeals of the State of Washington held that a reasonable covenant judgment, consisting of the total liability of the...more

Equitable Surcharge Awarded to Life Insurance Plan Beneficiary

A federal district court in California awarded relief in the form of surcharge to a life insurance plan beneficiary who claimed that a plan administrator failed to provide complete and accurate information in response to...more

Illinois Court Outlines Elements to Consider for Good Faith Analysis of Settlement Demand

To settle or not to settle: that is the question for liability insurers. If you are pondering whether you must accept a plaintiff’s settlement offer, read on. A recent Illinois case, Huang v. Brenson, 7 N.E.3d 729 (Ill. App....more

Gotham Insurance V. Warren E&P Answers Age-Old Question

In Gotham Insurance Co. v. Warren E&P Inc., the Texas Supreme Court recently addressed an age-old and often-asked question: Can an insurer recoup money paid to its insured when it later learns it overpaid? The answer:...more

Justices Mulling Whom Insurers Can Sue for Reimbursement

Insurance companies hate paying to defend claims they believe may not be covered - especially where the defense fees are significant. But when they do pay for the defense of claims they feel they should not have to...more

Claims Against Loan Servicer And Force-Placed Insurer Alleging Commission And Reinsurance Kickback Scheme Survive Dismissal

A putative class action involving force-placed home insurance and an alleged scheme for mortgage lenders to obtain kickbacks in the form of commissions, reinsurance premium, and other fees, has survived a motion to dismiss. ...more

Northern District of New York: Primary Insurer That Waited Nine Years to Tender Policy Limits to Injured Plaintiff Was Liable to...

Quincy Mutual Fire Ins. Co. v. New York Central Mutual Fire Ins. Co., No 3:12-CV-1041-DEP (N.D.N.Y. March 31, 2014) - The Northern District of New York held that a primary carrier that declined to settle an underlying...more

Update on 2013 Amendments to the Oregon Environmental Cleanup Assistance Act

In June 2013, the Governor of Oregon signed into law Senate Bill 814, which created sweeping reforms on environmental claims handling regulations and available remedies for insureds facing liability for cleanup of...more

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

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