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Bad Faith Sentinel - April 2014

In This Issue: - Third Circuit Seeks Guidance from Pennsylvania Supreme Court Regarding Whether Insured Tortfeasor May Assign Bad Faith Claim to Injured Third Party - District of Colorado: Insurer Entitled To...more

Coverage Opinions Remain Privileged in Bad Faith Action Even Where Gist of Recommendation is Set Forth in Letter to Insured

As a matter of first impression, the Supreme Court of West Virginia recently held that coverage opinion letters were protected by the attorney-client privilege even though the insurer subsequently sent correspondence to its...more

California Court Of Appeals: Discrepancy Between Insurer’s Initial Repair Estimate And Actual Cost Of Repairs Did Not Constitute...

Meuser v. Allstate Ins. Co., A136243, 2014 WL 802535 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2014). Court of Appeals of California finds no breach of contract or bad faith where actual cost of repairing fire-damaged home was higher...more

Florida Court Of Appeals: Insured Who Settled Claim For UM Benefits Still Allowed To Add Bad Faith Claim Against Insurer In The...

Safeco Ins. Co. of Illinois v. Rader, No. 1D13-2659, 2014 WL 660204 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Feb. 21, 2014). After entry of partial summary judgment on UM claim, insured successfully moved to amend his complaint to add a...more

California Court Holds An Adjuster May Be Personally Liable For Misrepresentations Made To The Insured

Earlier this month, an intermediate level California court rejected arguments that an insurance company’s adjuster owes no independent duty to the policyholders and cannot be liable even for “appalling” misconduct if he is...more

District of Colorado: Insurer Entitled To Summary Judgment on Bad Faith Claim Where Insured Repeatedly Failed To Provide Requested...

Keeney v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., No. 13-CV-00796-RPM, 2014 WL 622509 (D. Colo. Feb. 18, 2014) - District Court in Colorado grants defendant Insurer’s Motion for Summary Judgment where Insured’s failure to provide...more

Third Circuit Seeks Guidance from Pennsylvania Supreme Court Regarding Whether Insured Tortfeasor May Assign Bad Faith Claim to...

Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Wolfe, No. 12-4450 (3d Cir. Feb. 20., 2014) - Third Circuit petitions Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to decide whether an insured tortfeasor can assign his or her statutory bad faith...more

SDNY Certifies Interlocutory Appeal In Lender-Placed Insurance Dispute

On April 3, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York certified an interlocutory appeal of an order denying a motion to dismiss filed by a group of insurers facing class allegations of unlawful...more

New York Department Of Financial Services Fines Metlife Subsidiaries $60 Million

On March 31, 2014, Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services ("NYDFS") announced an Agreement under which MetLife will pay $60 million for insurance licensing violations by two of its...more

Minnesota Supreme Court Tolls Payment Bond Deadlines for Fraudulent Concealment

On April 2, 2014, the Minnesota Supreme Court confirmed that fraudulent concealment of a cause of action by a principal on a surety bond will toll a contractual limitations period for claims against the surety. The Court’s...more

New York DFS Obtains Substantial Settlement In Licensing Enforcement Action

On March 31, in an enforcement action with potential implications for a range of financial service providers, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced that an insurance holding company agreed to pay...more

Georgia District Court Judge Rules that FIRREA Precludes D&O Insurer Declaratory Judgment Actions Against FDIC as Receiver and...

On March 5, 2014, Judge Richard Story in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued an order denying Plaintiff OneBeacon Midwest Insurance Company’s (OneBeacon) Motion for Limited...more

The New York Court of Appeals Considers the Consequences of a Liability Insurer’s Breach of the Duty to Defend

What are the consequences of a liability insurer’s breach of the duty to defend its insured against a potentially covered claim? Recent decisions from the New York Court of Appeals highlight differing views nationwide on...more

FCA Fines Besso Limited for Anti-Bribery and Corruption Systems Failings

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Besso Limited, an independent management owned general insurance broker in the Lloyd’s Broking group, £315,000 for a failure to take reasonable care to establish and maintain...more

Federal Court Refuses To Dismiss Plaintiffs’ Putative Class Action In Captive Reinsurance Case

On their third attempt to state a claim for mortgage services fraud pursuant to the Real Estate Services Settlement and Procedures Act (“RESPA”), Plaintiffs in a putative class action overcame defendants’ motion to dismiss on...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Case Law Update: Weeks Ending February 21 And 28, 2014

I. FLORIDA STATE CASES – JOURDAN HAYNES & ILAN NIEUCHOWICZ - Relation-Back: amended complaint naming third-party defendant as defendant relates back to filing of third-party complaint where (a) third-party complaint...more

JPMorgan Settles RMBS Litigation Brought by Syncora

On February 24, monoline insurer Syncora Guarantee, Inc. announced that it had reached a settlement of RMBS litigation against JP Morgan Chase for an undisclosed sum. Syncora had alleged that J.P. Morgan and its affiliates...more

The New York Court of Appeals Vacates its Decision and Rejects “Coverage by Estoppel”

The New York Court of Appeals rarely hears reargument of its decisions, let alone reverses itself. On February 18, 2014, the Court of Appeals did just that....more

Insurance Recovery Law - Feb 26, 2014

Fourth Circuit Allows Punitive Damages Against Insurer For Bad Faith Despite Lack Of Actual Damages - Why it matters: A policyholder is not required to prove ascertainable damages to be entitled to an award of...more

In K2 Investment, NY high court reverses itself, confirms well-established case law

The New York Court of Appeals, in K2 Investment Group, LLC v. American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Company, 2014 WL 590662 (N.Y.), 2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 01102 (N.Y. Feb. 18, 2014), has vacated its own prior decision,...more

Utica And Century Ordered To Mandatory Mediation In Reinsurance Dispute

Utica Mutual Insurance Company brought an action in 2013 against Century Indemnity Company (itself and against certain of its named predecessors) for breach of contract and breach of the duty of utmost good faith, as well as...more

Eleventh Circuit Rules Lenders Can Demand Flood Insurance Coverage That Exceeds Loan Balance

Agreeing with the First Circuit’s recent en banc ruling in Kolbe v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, — F.3d —, 2013 WL 5394192 (1st Cir. Sept. 27, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the...more

New York High Court Reverses Course; Allows Carriers to Rely on Policy Exclusions Where Duty to Defend was Breached

K2 Investment Group, LLC. v. American Guarantee & Liability Ins. Co., No. 6, 2014 N.Y. LEXIS 201 (N.Y. Ct. of App. Feb. 18, 2014). In 2013, the New York Court of Appeals affirmed an order granting summary judgment to a...more

New York’s Highest Court Vacates Its Decision in K2

In its February 18, 2014 decision in K2 Investment Group, LLP v. American Guarantee & Liability Ins. Co., New York’s Court of Appeals – New York’s highest court – had occasion to revisit its prior ruling concerning the effect...more

Dusting Off Arizona’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act & Regulation: Specific Standards for Good Faith Claims Handling

The test for first-party bad faith in Arizona case law is whether, during the “investigation, evaluation, and processing of the claim, the insurer acted unreasonably and either knew or was conscious of the fact that its...more

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