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Arizona Court of Appeals Reverses $1 Million Award of Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case for Alleged “Institutional Bad...

In Sobieski v. Am. Standard Ins. Co. of Wisconsin, 2016 WL 5436588 (Ariz.App. Sept. 29, 2016), despite upholding a bad faith judgment for an insurer conducting an unreasonable investigation and denying a claim, the Arizona...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict in UIM Bad Faith Case

On Friday, September 30, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law that had been granted by the Middle District Court of Florida in a uninsured/underinsured motorist...more

Insurance Coverage – Insurance Fraud Prevention Act

The People ex rel. Allstate Insurance Company, et al. v. Daniel H. Dahan, et al. - Court of Appeal, Second District (September 15, 2016) - Under Section 1871.7 of the California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act...more

Insurance Coverage – Cancellation of Policy and Bad Faith

Trent Mills v. AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Ins. Exchange - Court of Appeal, Third District (September 20, 2016) - Under Insurance Code § 1861.03(c)(1), an insurer has a statutory right to cancel an...more

How Appraisal Protects Against Texas Insurance Code Abuse

Insurance practice in Texas has become somewhat rote. Typically, a petition is filed against both an insurance company (that is often not based or incorporated in Texas) and a local adjuster. In addition to a breach of...more

UK Supreme Court: Fraud Trumps the Finality of Settlements

In a recent decision that can have equal application in the United States, the UK Supreme Court ruled that fraud trumps the public policy arguments of finality and encouragement of settlements....more

Choice-Of-Law Ruling In Massachusetts Diminishes Coverage For Rhode Island Public Utility

The Appeals Court of Massachusetts recently dealt a blow to policyholders by choosing to apply Massachusetts law to the coverage of environmental contamination in Rhode Island. In OneBeacon America Insurance Company v....more

Missouri Federal Court Identifies Roadblocks For An Excess Carriers’ Claim For Attorney Fees Against Primary Carrier

The court’s decision in Axis Specialty Insurance Company v. New Hampshire Insurance Company highlights the scope of recovery available for an excess carrier seeking to recover against a primary carrier. Emboldened by the...more

Arbitration Clause Contained Only In “Side” Agreements To Insurance Policies, Enforced In Dispute Over “Retrospective Premiums”

A U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently enjoined Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), from proceeding with litigation in California against National Union Fire Insurance Company (NUFIC), related to a...more

5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense: Early Damages Analysis and Discovery

The fifth of my “5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense” (April 30, 2016 post) is to move securities class action damages expert reports and discovery ahead of fact discovery. This simple change would allow the...more

Eleventh Circuit Finds Insurer Liable for Medicare Lien Notwithstanding Insurer's Efforts to Satisfy the Lien in Settlement, also...

In a case with far-reaching implications, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion concluding that the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP) permits a private insurance company/PART C Medicare Advantage...more

11th Circuit Awards Humana Double Damages Under Medicare Secondary Payer Act

Humana Medical Plan, Inc. v. Western Heritage Insurance Co., case number 15-11436. Liability insurers beware, as the 11th Circuit held that Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAO) are entitled to the same rights...more

STOLI Policies Cancelled, Insurers Retain Premium

Two federal appellate courts have affirmed, on different grounds, the cancellation of large life insurance policies that were alleged to be stranger originated life insurance (STOLI), permitting the issuing insurers to retain...more

Settling Defendants Beware: Eleventh Circuit Holds Settling Insurer Liable for Failure to Protect Medicare Payments Made by...

Congress created an uproar among personal injury tort defendants and their insurers when it passed the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA) less than 10 years ago. The $1,000 per day fine for failure to...more

Where Does a Third Party “Stand” on Liens?

Dion v. William Robert Batten, Sr. (8/2/16) Facts and Procedural History: Plaintiff was employed by Neuwirth as a servicing agent. In the course and scope of his employment with Neuwirth, he was involved in a car...more

Florida’s Fifth District Allows Evidence of Prior Sinkhole Insurance Settlement in Subsequent Sinkhole Trial

In Tower Hill Signature Ins. v. Speck, 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 12167 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Aug. 12, 2016), the Fifth District found the trial court abused its discretion by not admitting into evidence the amount of a...more

Insurance Coverage – Equitable Indemnity Claim by Excess Carrier

Ace American Insurance Company v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (August 5, 2016) - Where an underlying insurer rejects a settlement offer within its policy limits, and...more

Delaware Chancery Court Finds That Anti-Suit Injunction Bars Trustee Under Reinsurance Trust Agreement From Pursuing Third-Party...

Freestone Insurance Company is a Delaware-domiciled insurer that has been placed in liquidation. U.S. Bank National Association served as the trustee under a reinsurance trust agreement (the “Trust Agreement”) between...more

Eleventh Circuit’s Liberal Reading of Bonner Mall a Game Changer for Class Actions?

An Eleventh Circuit panel recently vacated two district court orders after sending the parties to mediation, and after the parties’ conditioned settlement on vacatur of the orders. In Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v....more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Constitutional Limits on Punitive Damages

In Brandt v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court held that when a plaintiff proves that an insurance company withheld policy benefits in bad faith, attorneys' fees reasonably incurred to compel payment of the...more

Don’t Mess with the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act: One Court’s Appraisal Result

Virtually all property insurance policies contain an appraisal clause, which outlines the appraisal procedure in broad terms. Those broad terms sometimes do not provide much guidance about the process, or about the effect...more

More Common Sense: Coverage for Collapse Requires More Than an Engineer’s Finding of Substantial Impairment

In February this blog commented on Washington State’s newly-adopted definition of “collapse” in property insurance policies that contain no specific definition of the term. (Observer, February 8, 2016, Common Sense Prevails: ...more

Third Circuit Slams The Door On Coverage For The Cost of Defending Excluded Claims—Then Leaves It Wide Open

An insured corporation settles a class action, and a portion of the settlement pays the plaintiffs’ attorneys. Payments to the class are excluded from coverage under the terms of the corporation’s liability policy. But can...more

Subrogation recovery did not violate the made-whole-rule and was not in bad faith per Wisconsin Sup. Ct.

It is highly unusual to find an insurance bad faith case which stems from an insurance company’s subrogation recovery. On July 6th, Wisconsin’s highest court had such a case, reversing the appellate court and holding that...more

Insurance Coverage – Genuine Dispute as Defense to Bad Faith

Clayton D. Paslay, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (June 27, 2016) - Under the genuine dispute doctrine, an insurer denying or delaying the payment of...more

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