Civil Remedies Insurance

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Alaska Creates Exception to General Rule that Injured Party Cannot Sue Insured’s Carrier

The Supreme Court of Alaska in Burnett v. Government Employees Insurance Company, 2017 WL 382648 (Alaska 2017) recently decided in a 3-2 decision that an insurer who voluntarily assumed the responsibility for cleaning up an...more

California Court Holds Continuous Progressive Injury Exclusion Applicable to Construction Defect Claim

In its recent decision in Saarman Construction, Ltd. v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13633 (N.D. Cal. Jan 31, 2017), the United States District Court for the Northern District of California had occasion...more

CPP Disability Benefits: To Deduct or Not to Deduct

The standard form SEF 44 endorsement (The Endorsement) was recently interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Sabean v. Portage La Prairie Mutual Insurance Co., 2017 SCC 7. The Endorsement indemnifies an...more

California’s High Court Gives Insurance Regulators New Tools To Broaden Authority

Nearly two years ago, a California appellate court invalidated a rule promulgated by the state’s Insurance Commissioner, on the ground that the regulator lacks authority to prohibit “deceptive acts or practices” which are not...more

New Year - New Insurance Law

In an earthquake related judgment issued in late December 2016, the High Court (Court) found a mutual duty of good faith applied to parties to an insurance contract, including during the claims handling process. A breach of...more

Missouri Supreme Court Addresses Insurer Intervention, Garnishment Proceedings and Bad Faith Findings

Allen v. Bryers and Atain Specialty Insurance Company, — S.W.3d —, 2016 WL 7378560 (Mo. banc, December 20, 2016) In a recent opinion, the Missouri Supreme Court addressed the timing for an insurer’s intervention in a...more

Defence & Indemnity - December 2016: I. INSURANCE ISSUES A.

A. An insured killed by a thief driving the insured’s vehicle is entitled to coverage under his S.P.F. 44 Endorsement, notwithstanding that one part of the definition of “inadequately insured motorist” purports to exclude...more

What Is An Offer of Judgment And Can It Really Lower the Cost of or Shorten Litigation?

Insurance coverage litigation today is often time consuming and expensive. Many cases include claims for “bad faith” damages, and some cases seek punitive damages. To support their allegations, litigants will usually seek a...more

9th Circuit Holds Insured vs. Insured Exclusion Applicable to Claims Brought by FDIC

In its recent decision in FDIC v. BancIsure, Inc., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 452 (Jan. 10, 2017), the United States Court of Appeals had occasion to consider the scope of an insured vs. insured exclusion in the context of...more

A Liar and A Cheat? 3 Ways to Pay...

Seyfarth Synopsis: Insurer gets to pick its remedy when hospital engages in dishonest billing and illegal kickbacks…to the tune of $41 million. Judge Lynn Hughes of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of...more

Fifth Circuit Provides Road Map for Review and Trial of Bad Faith Claims in Mississippi

Mississippi essentially has three levels of claim when insurance is at issue: (1) mere breach of contract, allowing recovery of contract damages; (2) breach of contract + no arguable basis for breach, which entitles recovery...more

Insurance Coverage – “Other Insurance” Provisions Between Excess Carriers

Advent, Inc. v National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (December 6, 2016) - Historically, “other insurance” clauses in liability policies were designed to prevent...more

Appellate Court Notes

AC37979 - Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman - Nursing home sued son/guarantor of patient and obtained a judgment for $45,000. The guarantee agreement allowed the nursing home to seek attorney fees. The son appealed...more

Court Affirms Summary Judgment Holding Insurance Agent Owed No Fiduciary Duties To Insured

In Brown v. Carrell, homeowners filed suit against their insurance agent over damages to their home from Hurricane Ike. No. 09-15-00016-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 13782 (Tex. App.—Beaumont December 29, 2016, no pet. history)....more

Insurance – Coverage – Pyrolysis as an “Occurrence”

Tidwell Enterprises, Inc., et al. v. Financial Pacific Ins. Co., Inc. - Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District (December 20, 2016) - According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Pyrolysis is a “chemical...more

Allocating a Pro Rata Defense Share to the Insured in Continuous Injury Cases

In a matter of first impression, the Louisiana Supreme Court recently held that the duty to defend in a long latency disease case could be prorated between the insurer and insured. (See, Arceneaux v. Amstar Corp. 2016 WL...more

Whose Settlement Is It, Anyway? Negotiating Consistent with an Insurer's Strong Coverage Defenses.

This author suggested, in an earlier May 2016 Bad Faith blog article, that an insurer can measure on a “strength scale” its insurance coverage defenses while it defends its insured against underlying claims and lawsuits under...more

Supreme Court Rules on False Claims Act’s Seal Requirement

In the midst of a False Claims Act (FCA) case, the relators have blatantly violated the FCA’s seal provision. Surely this will lead to dismissal, right? Wrong. On Tuesday, December 6, the Supreme Court unanimously...more

Montana Court Holds D&O Insurer Had Duty to Advance Costs

In its recent decision in Johnson v. Federal Rural Electric Ins. Ex., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173037 (D. Mont. Dec. 14, 2016), the United States District Court for the District of Montana had occasion to consider a D&O...more

Unlike Friendships, Policy Exclusions Are Not Severable In West Virginia

A homeowners insurance policy often covers every member of a family, and many policies state that the insurance applies separately to each insured. The same policies usually exclude coverage for intentional acts. But what...more

Regulators Rebuffed: CA Court Rejects $27 Million “Broker Fees” Fine

For decades, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) has interpreted the California Insurance Code in a manner that recognizes broker-charged fees as part of a “premium” that may be imputed to the insurer for purposes of...more

Regulators Rebuffed: CA Court Rejects $27 Million “Broker Fees” Fine

For decades, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) has interpreted the California Insurance Code in a manner that recognizes broker-charged fees as part of a “premium” that may be imputed to the insurer for purposes of...more

SCOTUS: Dismissal Not Mandatory for False Claims Act Seal Violation

Rigsby places discretion in the hands of district courts as to whether and how to sanction relators who violate the seal requirement in False Claims Act cases. On December 6, 2016, only a month after oral argument, the...more

Supreme Court Rejects Mandatory Dismissal for an FCA Seal Breach

The Supreme Court held that a relator’s breach of the seal in a qui tam case does not require mandatory dismissal of the complaint, but the Court declined to articulate what factors are appropriate to consider in determining...more

Supreme Court Concludes that Violation of FCA Seal Provision Does Not Necessarily Mandate Dismissal of Qui Tam Suits

The Supreme Court held yesterday that a violation of the False Claims Act’s seal provision does not mandate dismissal of a relator’s complaint. Justice Kennedy authored the Court’s opinion in the unanimous 8-0 decision. ...more

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