Insurance Business Torts Civil Procedure

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California’s “Independent” Cumis Counsel Regime Faces A Novel Challenge

On May 5, the California Supreme Court will hear argument in a case that has the potential to profoundly change the relationship between the insurer, its insured and the insured’s independent defense counsel under Civil Code...more

All “Intentional Tort” Claims By Employees May Now Be Uninsurable

On March 12, 2015, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued a decision in Hoyle v. DTJ Enterprises, Inc., holding that an insurance provision that excludes coverage for acts committed with the “deliberate intent to injure an...more

“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”: Preparing Your Corporate Representative for Deposition

Recently, in Sciarretta v. Lincoln Nat’l Life Ins. Co., the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed monetary sanctions against a non-party corporation for the bad faith preparation of its designated corporate witness....more

Participant’s Estate Fails to Show a Claim For Failure to Give Notice of Right to Continue Life Insurance Coverage: Estate of...

Providing a practical lesson on determining a duty to give notice to ERISA participants, the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida dismissed the claim by the estate of an ERISA group life insurance plan...more

Georgia Supreme Court: Insured Cannot Sue for Settlement Amount of Bad Faith Absent Insurer’s “Consent to Settle”

On April 20, 2015, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously held that when an insured fails to seek its insurer’s consent to settle a claim, the insured cannot pursue litigation against its insurer to recover settlement amounts...more

Illinois Supreme Court Addresses Duty of Care Owed by Insurance Agents

On March 19, 2015, in its decision in Skaperdas v. Country Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 IL 117021 (Ill. Mar. 19, 2015), the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed an appellate court decision holding that Section 2-2201 of the Illinois Code...more

Motor Carriers Are Liable For Injuries to Drivers of Leased Vehicles Who Are Classified As Independent Contractors

Jose Vargas v. FMI, Inc. et al. - In Vargas, California’s Second Appellate District held that the Privette doctrine does not shield a motor carrier operating under a federal franchise from liability for tort injuries...more

Everest Indemnity Insurance Company v. Rea - Court Addresses Whether Insurance Company’s Consult With Counsel Constitutes Waiver...

Rudolfo Brothers Plastering, Inc. claimed that Everest Indemnity Insurance Company acted in bad faith by entering into a settlement agreement that exhausted the liability coverage of an Owner Controlled Insurance Program...more

Nature Of Reinsurance Relationship Precludes Dismissal Of Negligence Claim Brought By Reinsurer Against Cedent

A federal district court has denied a cedent’s motion to dismiss a negligence claim brought against it by its reinsurer, Old Republic National Title Insurance. The dispute between Old Republic and First American Title arose...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Captive Insurance Agents Owe Limited Tort Duty to Clients

Section 2-2201 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that “[a]n insurance producer . . . shall exercise ordinary care and skill in renewing, procuring, binding, or placing the coverage requested by the insured or proposed...more

En Banc Sixth Circuit Rules Against Disgorgement Remedy in Benefits Case

In Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 12-2074 (6th Cir. March 5, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, ruled that an insurance company that wrongfully denied benefits to...more

Indiana Court Dismisses Bad Faith Allegations and Praises Insurer for Timely Claims-Handling

A recent federal District Court decision from Indiana, Autumn Glen Homeowners Ass’n. v. Travelers Ind. Co. of America, 2015 WL 1256391, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33317 (S.D. Ind., Mar. 18, 2015) provides insight into both...more

Disgorgement of Profits Not Available for Arbitrary and Capricious Benefits Denial – This Time

Wrongful denial of employee benefits will not expose plan fiduciaries to equitable remedies – such as disgorgement of profits – where restoration of benefits is adequate to make the claimant whole, says the Sixth Circuit in...more

11th Circuit Certifies Insurable Interest Questions in Pruco Cases to the Florida Supreme Court

On February 27, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit certified two important questions of Florida insurable interest law to the Florida Supreme Court. ...more

ERISA: 6th Circuit — Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz: Oh What A RELIEF It Is: No Disgorgement For Arbitrary Denial Of Benefits

Does an arbitrary and capricious denial of ERISA governed disability benefits create a right to disgorgement of profits? NO....more

Sixth Circuit Overturns the Lower Court’s Award of $3.8 Million in Alleged Profits Arising From a Denial of Benefits

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, has overturned the decision of a divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel which had affirmed the district court’s award of $3.8 million of “disgorged” profits,...more

Court of Appeals of New Mexico Reverses Bad Faith Judgment for Insured and Remands for New Trial on Bad Faith Claim

Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. v. Vigil, No. 32,171 (N.M. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2015). Court of Appeals of New Mexico rules that district court abused its discretion in excluding evidence of previous coverage ruling in...more

District of Arizona: Employee’s Intentional, Incorrect, and Unreasonable Handling of Claim Subjects Insurer to Finding of Bad...

Haney v. ACE Am. Ins. Co., No. CV-13-02429-PHX-DGC, 2015 WL 58670 (D. Ariz. Jan. 5, 2015). District of Arizona: Court grants partial summary judgment on bad faith claim for failure of insurer to make retroactive...more

Seller Beware: Eighth Circuit Finds Insurer Potentially Liable for Enrollment Mistakes of Employer

In Silva v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 762 F.3d 711 (8th Cir. 2014), the Eighth Circuit joined a number of other circuits in recognizing equitable remedies of reformation and surcharge based on a breach of fiduciary...more

Texas Court Holds No Duty to Defend Claims of Monopolistic Practices

In its recent decision in Uretek United States v. Cont’l Cas. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18610 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 17, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas had occasion to consider a general...more

New York Court Dismisses Bad Faith Cause of Action

In its recent decision in Spandex House, Inc. v. Travelers Property Cas. Co. of America, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14667 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 6, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had...more

D&O Insurance Law - 2014 Year in Review

Directors and Officers (D&O) liability and the insurance coverage issues presented by litigation arising from the same continued to be the subject of numerous judicial decisions at the state and federal level during 2014. The...more

Southern District of Ohio Strikes Policyholders Class From Suit Against State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company

In Schumacher v. State Auto. Mut. Ins. Co., No. 13-cv-00232, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11857 (S.D. Ohio Feb. 2, 2015), the Southern District of Ohio struck class allegations from a putative class action alleging breach of the...more

Eastern District of Kentucky: Insurer’s Denial Of Claim Did Not Amount To Bad Faith Where Insureds Could Not Establish Malice or...

Cline v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 6:13-CV-182-HAI, 2014 WL 7074973 (E.D. Ky. Dec. 15, 2014). After Denial of Claim for Loss from Fire on Basis of Exclusion for Criminal or Intentional Acts, Insurer wins Cross-Motions for...more

Florida Appellate Court Blocks Discovery of Communications Between Insured and Insurer-Retained Defense Counsel in Third-Party Bad...

On September 5, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal issued its en banc decision in Boozer v. Stalley, 146 So. 3d 139 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014), holding that in a third-party bad faith action, the attorney-client privilege...more

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