Civil Remedies Insurance

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DOJ Sues to Block Health Plan Mergers

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), joined by attorneys general from several states, filed a lawsuit last Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to block two major mergers between health...more

Alberta Government Updating 2004 Auto Insurance Reforms

The Alberta government has announced that it is in the process of updating the regulations involved in the 2004 auto insurance reform, namely the Minor Injury Regulation, Alta Reg 123/2004; the Diagnostic and Treatment...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

Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 Comes Into Effect Soon

After years of delay, on 1 August 2016, the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 will be brought into force in the United Kingdom, making it easier for a party with a claim against an insolvent business to bring...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

Employing Insurance to Protect You From Wage & Hour Suits In Light of Updated Regulations

In 2014, we reported that wage and hour lawsuits—claims in which employees and companies dispute the amount owed to an employee or class of employees for overtime work— had increased 432 percent over the last two decades. ...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

Injunction Enjoining Enforcement of HHS Attestation Rule Affirmed

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the District Court’s decision in Central United Life v. Burwell on July 1, 2016. This decision is very significant for those assessing the future strength of, and...more

California's First District holding closes loophole for evading removal jurisdiction in insurance coverage declaratory relief...

California law has long held that the parent and controlling shareholder of an insured corporation has no standing to sue for breach of contract or bad faith under an insurance policy issued to the corporation. In a published...more

Defence & Indemnity - June 2016: I. INSURANCE ISSUES

A. Where a party pleads equitable relief (such as rescission, estoppel or relief from forfeiture) with respect to an insurance policy, the claim cannot be heard by a jury Maynard v. Alberta Motor Assn., 2015 ABQB 564,...more

Ask the Public Adjustor: Covering Life with Wisdom*

I’ll come right out and admit it: I was a crasher at last night’s party. Though they helped me bluff my way in, every stitch of clothing I wore was borrowed, and the limo … it’s a long story, but let’s just say Uber. Then I...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

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

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

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

Insurance – Bad Faith – Punitive Damages

Thomas Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company - California Supreme Court (June 9, 2016) - Absent special justification, ratios of punitive damages to compensatory damages that greatly exceed 9 or 10 to 1...more

ERISA: Court’s Short Checklist to Reduce Plaintiff/Claimant Attorney Fees

Attorney fees in ERISA cases continue to be a challenge. What happens when both sides can claim wins during a case? What is a reasonable hourly rate for Plaintiff’s attorneys?...more

Bad Faith Attorneys’ Fees Are Compensatory Damages in Determining Cap On Punitive Damages

On June 9, 2016, the California Supreme Court ruled in Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co., __ Cal.4th ___ (2016) that the attorneys’ fees awarded to a veteran who sued for benefits under a “hospital stay” policy should be...more

The Duty to Follow-up Part II: When The Underlying Litigation Changes

Last month, we discussed the duty to follow-up in the context of an offer to settle made by a tort claimant and how neglect of that duty cost an insurer dearly by converting a claim that could have been settled for $25,000...more

Third Circuit Holds No Estoppel In Light of Reservation of Rights Letters

In its recent decision in Nationwide Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Shearer, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9635 (3d Cir. 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, applying Pennsylvania law, had occasion to consider...more

New ADA and GINA Wellness Regulation Changes Complicate Wellness Program Compliance Analysis and Risks

Wellness programs should all be reviewed considering the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) regulatory changes because noncompliance with the new requirements do...more

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