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Recoupment of Defense Costs: An Ohio Court Weighs in on the Debate

An Ohio appellate court recently addressed the much-debated issue of recoupment of defense costs, holding in a 2–1 decision, and on very narrow grounds, that an insurer could recoup nearly $12 million it expended on the...more

New York Rescission Law Strikes Again: Lessons Learned From the Voiding of Heinz’s Product Contamination Insurance Policy

An increasingly popular tool in the insurer’s toolset is attempted rescission of the policy. This tool is particularly sharp if the law applicable to the construction of the policy is that of New York. Earlier this week, the...more

Property Insurance Diminution in Value Class Action: Georgia Federal Court Dismisses Declaratory Judgment Claim

A while back, I wrote about a Georgia Supreme Court decision, Royal Capital Development LLC v. Maryland Casualty Co., that held that diminution in value of real property is potentially covered under a property insurance...more

Court of Appeals Addresses Insurance Agent Negligence Claim; Plaintiff May Claim Emotional Damages

For years, the Murrays bought minimum limits vehicle insurance, including minimum UM/UIM from agent Jones. Then they gradually began increasing their limits. They testified that when they discussed UM/UIM coverage with Jones,...more

Pennsylvania: Public policy prevents punitive damages from being recoverable as compensable damages in bad faith or breach of...

In an issue of first impression, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that punitive damages awarded against an insured in a prior personal injury suit are not recoverable as compensable damages in a later breach of...more

“Insanity Defense” Fails To Preserve Coverage For Insured’s Arson

Missouri resident James Roller set fire to his garage in an attempt to commit suicide. When smoke and fumes surrounded him he changed his mind, fled the garage, and alerted his wife of the fire. Mrs. Roller called 911. A...more

Medical Malpractice and Healthcare Quarterly - Winter 2015-2016

DELAWARE MOVES TO MAKE TELEMEDICINE MORE ACCESSIBLE - On July 7, 2015, Governor Jack Markell signed into law House Bill No. 69 (DE LEGIS 80 (2015), 2015 Delaware Laws Ch. 80 (H.B. 69)), which amends various provisions of...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19309 - Staton v. Commissioner of Correction - SC19195 - Campos v. Coleman - SC19195 Dissent - Campos v. Coleman - In a 4-3 split decision the Court insured that the cost of living will be going up in...more

Virginia Holds Determination Whether Insurer Acted In Bad Faith Must Be Made By The Judge And Not The Jury

This country’s courts are split on whether the decision to award attorney’s fees in bad faith litigation should be made by the judge or the jury. Earlier this fall, Virginia aligned itself firmly with the former in Revi, LLC...more

Seventh Circuit Reverses Injunctive Relief for Chiropractic Association

On October 1, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed what was previously regarded as a victory for the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association. The case, Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Limited Right of Carrier to Seek Recovery of Unreasonable Fees Directly from Insured’s...

On August 10, 2015, in Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, et al., the California Supreme Court held that in some circumstances insurers may seek reimbursement of payments made to the insured's...more

One Business Day Delay In Delivering Settlement Check Costs Insurer $1.1 Million

A South Carolina federal district court judge has ordered that Nationwide must pay an accident victim $1.1 million, in excess of the $50,000 Nationwide policy, as a result of Nationwide’s failure to timely respond to a...more

Independent “Cumis” Counsel Now Face Direct Claims for Reimbursement From Insurers

On April 30, 2015, we blogged about Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, Case No. S211645, then set for oral argument in the California Supreme Court. [see the prior post: California’s “Independent”...more

California Supreme Court: Insurer Can Directly Sue Independent Counsel for Excess Fees in Limited Circumstances

On August 10, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that could have broad implications regarding an insurer’s right to seek reimbursement of unreasonable fees and costs directly from so-called Cumis...more

California Supreme Court Permits Restitution Claim By Insurer Against Independent Counsel

In its recent decision in Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C., — (Cal. Aug. 10, 2015), the Supreme Court of California had occasion to consider an insurer’s right to reimbursement from Cumis counsel for...more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Predicts That Pennsylvania Supreme Court Would Prevent an Insured from Recovering Punitive Damages...

Wolfe v. Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 12-4450, 2015 WL 3634779 (3d Cir. June 12, 2015). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals holds that evidence of punitive damages award against insured in underlying suit was not...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds That Insured May Settle Tort Claim Without Insurer Consent Under “Fair and Reasonable” Standard

In Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. American Nuclear Insurers, a divided Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, deciding an issue of first impression under Pennsylvania law, recently held that when an insurer defends its insured subject to a...more

Insurance Filed Rate Defense Wins Over the Second Circuit

In a noteworthy embrace of the filed rate doctrine, the Second Circuit recently ruled, in the context of a challenge to so-called lender-placed or “force placed” insurance, that a regulator-approved rate is subject to the...more

Insights from DRI Class Action Seminar 2015 – Part 1

As I’ve done in past years, this post and the next one will summarize some takeaways I gleaned from this year’s DRI Class Action Seminar. Impact of Dart Cherokee: Nowell Berreth, who argued this case in the Supreme...more

Potential Erosion of the Distinction Between Benefits Denials and Breach of Fiduciary Duty under ERISA in the Tenth Circuit

A recent decision from a federal district court in the Tenth Circuit provides an example of the potential erosion of the distinction between claims for wrongful denial of benefits and breach of fiduciary duty under the...more

Tenth Circuit Addresses ERISA Limitations Provision in Class Action Decision

In Fulghum v. Embarq. Corp., 785 F.3d 395 (10th Cir. 2015), the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals considered the claims of a class of telephone company retirees whose life and health insurance benefits were reduced or eliminated...more

Maryland District Court Grants Insurer’s Motion to Dismiss Payee’s Counterclaims and Awards Attorney Fees in Interpleader

On July 1, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued an opinion granting Connecticut General Life Insurance Company’s (“CGLIC”) motion to dismiss a payee’s claims for breach of contract and...more

Proper Measure of Medical Damages, Admissibility Of Evidence, and Sufficiency of Evidence in Tort Cases Involving an Uninsured...

Omar Bermudez v. Faith Ciolek - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (June 22, 2015) - Issues that remained unanswered after the Howell and Corenbaum decisions included: (1) what is the proper measure of...more

Has Exposure To Punitive Damages Increased In Arizona?

Until recently, it was generally accepted that punitive damages awards are to track awards of compensatory damages on a 1:1 ratio. This ratio was convenient for defendants, as it provided some amount of certainty when...more

Appraisers’ Failure to Perform Assessment of Property’s Existence or Damage is Reversible Error

In Lee v. California Capital Insurance Co. (No. A136280; filed 6/18/15), a California Court of Appeal held that it was error for an appraisal panel to assign loss values to items simply because they were listed in the...more

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