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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

Third Circuit Holds That Under Pennsylvania Law An Insured Against Whom Punitive Damages Have Been Imposed May Not Recover Those...

As a matter of public policy, Pennsylvania (like a number of other states) prohibits insuring against punitive damages. But what happens if an insurer refuses to settle a case against a policyholder within policy limits and...more

Even if You Lose You May Win (Attorneys’ Fees That Is)

In New Jersey, if a policyholder is required to sue its insurance company for coverage, Court Rule R.4:42-9 allows a policyholder to recover attorneys’ fees if it is successful in obtaining coverage. The purpose of this...more

Colorado Supreme Court: Indefinite, Future Assignment of Insurance Proceeds Unenforceable Against Insurer

It is not uncommon for injured persons to assign their rights to insurance proceeds to a third party, and the enforceability of those assignments has been the subject of frequent litigation around the country. In the most...more

Minding Your (Policy) Language – Indiana Supreme Court Certifies Pro Rata Allocation Ruling From Lower Court

Courts have struggled between two approaches on how to allocate damages when multiple, consecutive CGL policies have been triggered in situations involving continuous injury or property damage. The majority approach, pro rata...more

Florida High Court Set to Clarify When an Insured Is Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees When an Insurer Initially Denies a Sinkhole...

On April 15, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of Omega Insurance Co. v. Johnson, No. 5D13-1701, 2014 WL 4375189 (Fla. 5th DCA Sept. 5, 2014), which found that an insured was not entitled to an award of...more

High Court to clarify proportionate liability – judgment imminent

Those of you following our coverage regarding the proceedings of Selig & Anor v Wealthsure Pty Ltd & Ors, presently before the High Court of Australia, will be pleased to hear that judgment is set to be delivered at 10am on...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

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