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Florida District Court of Appeal: Insurer’s Liability For Breach Of Contract Need Not Be Determined Before Bad Faith Claim Ripens

Cammarata v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company, No. 4D13-185 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Sept. 3, 2014) (en banc). Clarifying recent conflicting precedents, the Florida District Court of Appeal for the Fourth District held...more

Joinder of insurers – Belcastro v Gabriel Nakhl

The potential savings in legal costs often warrant resisting the direct joinder of an insurer, notwithstanding the relatively low bar set by the authorities. In Belcastro v Gabriel Nakhl & Ors [2014] NSWSC 1305 the insurers...more

First Circuit Rules for Insurers in Two Retained Asset Account Cases; An Insurer Does not Need “to Don the Commercial Equivalent...

The First Circuit recently decided two ERISA cases challenging the use of retained asset accounts in favor of the insurer-defendants. The decisions are Merrimon v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 758 F.3d 46, 50 (1st Cir. 2014)...more

Insurer’s Liability for Breach of Contract Is Not a Condition Precedent to Insured’s Bad Faith Claim

A Florida appeals court recently held in Cammarata v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co. that an insured is not required to show that its insurer breached the insurance policy before it can bring a claim for bad faith. Although...more

Missouri Court of Appeals Affirms Award of Compensatory Damages Against Insurer Based Upon Bad Faith Failure to Settle and Overall...

The Missouri Court of Appeals recently affirmed an award of compensatory damages against an insurer based upon bad faith in Advantage Bldgs. & Exteriors, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2014 Mo. App. LEXIS 975 (Missouri Court...more

AMJ Investments May Not Alter Texas Claims Landscape

Section 541 of the Texas Insurance Code authorizes a private cause of action through which an insured can recover the “actual damages” caused by its insurer’s violation of the statute’s fair-claims handling provisions. And,...more

Eastern District of Pennsylvania: State Farm Cannot Refuse Appraisal of Superstorm Sandy Damage

Currie v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. CIV.A. 13-6713, 2014 WL 4081051 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 19, 2014). After Superstorm Sandy damaged the insureds’ house, they and their insurer came to markedly different assessments of...more

Arbitration Denied In Class Action Where Plaintiff’s Trust Was A Party To Arbitration Agreement, But Plaintiff Was Not

In a life settlement transaction, in which a life insurance policy is sold by its owner to another for more than its cash-surrender value but less than the net death benefit, the seller contended that the broker and purchaser...more

Southern District of New York: It is Unlawful for an Insurer to Withhold Payment When Some Portion on an Insured’s Entitlement is...

Lexington Ins. Co. v. MGA Entm’t, No. 12-cv-3677 (SAS), 2014 WL 3955205 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 12, 2014). The Southern District of New York denies an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s claim that the insurer breached its...more

RBS Settles MBS Claims with Assured

On August 14, RBS Securities reached a deal with Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. to settle a lawsuit alleging misrepresentations concerning the collateral underlying a US$291 million securitization. The complaint alleged...more

Start Spreading the News: With National Union v. TransCanada, New York Prepares to Broadcast Communications with Coverage...

The final opinion of a New York appellate court in National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh v. TransCanada Energy USA, Inc., 119 A.D.3d 492 (2014), is only three paragraphs long, but it raises a host of questions about how,...more

Class Action Alleging Mortgage Kickback Captive Reinsurance Survives Dismissal Pending Discovery On Tolling Of Limitations

A court denied dismissal of a putative class action involving claims against Suntrust Bank subsidiaries and a captive reinsurer for an alleged illegal kickback scheme arising out of captive reinsurance covering Suntrust’s...more

California Supreme Court Halts Creeping Expansion of Advertising Injury

Commercial general liability policies typically provide coverage for claims based on “personal and advertising injury.” Increasingly, enterprising insureds have invoked this coverage in connection with a variety of legal...more

Northern District of Texas Dismisses Bad Faith Claims in Well-Control Policy Dispute

Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am., No. 7:12-cv-00133-O (N.D. Tex. Jul. 14, 2014) - Northern District of Texas dismisses bad faith claims against insurer and adjuster in dispute over coverage for...more

Public Adjusters Do Not Have Free Pass To The Stand

In Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds, the Western District of Texas reminded litigants that licensed public adjusters are not immune from expert witness qualification requirements. Namely, a public adjuster’s license does not...more

Recent Developments in California Bad Faith Law and Related Trends

On July 29, 2014, I spoke on a panel about recent developments in California bad faith law and related trends. My co-presenter was Robert K. Scott of The Law Offices of Robert K. Scott, and we gave the presentation at ACI’s...more

Water Loss Case Gives Rise to Dispute Over Bad Faith Standard For ‘Genuine Dispute’ and Admissibility of Expert Evidence

In a recent decision in the case of Pyramid Technologies, Inc. v. Hartford Casualty Ins. Co., 752 F.3d 807 (9th Cir., May 19, 2014), the Ninth Circuit, relying on California law upheld a grant of summary judgment dismissing...more

Your D&O Insurance Policy Post-Halliburton

In its recent, highly anticipated decision in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, the U.S. Supreme Court declined an invitation to overturn the so-called “fraud on the market” presumption applicable to securities class...more

Sixth Circuit Blurs Line Between Primary and Excess

The Sixth Circuit recently addressed the question of whether an excess insurer must provide a defense when the primary insurer fails to do so. In IMG Worldwide v. Westchester Fire Insurance Company, No. 3836 (6th Cir. July...more

The Latest on the Use of Retained Asset Accounts to Pay Life Insurance Benefits

In Merrimon v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of America, 2014 WL 2960024 (1st Cir. July 2, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit became the third circuit court to approve an insurance company’s use of a retained...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Widow’s Claim for Equitable Relief

The Fourth Circuit recently rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims for life insurance coverage by Leslie Moon, the widow of a deceased employee, who claimed that the employer’s actions resulted in Mr. Moon’s...more

Court Finds Communications With Reinsurers Discoverable In Coverage Dispute

A federal court in Minnesota determined that an umbrella insurer’s communications with its reinsurers are discoverable in a coverage dispute. The case is titled National Union v. Donaldson Co., and the focus is on the scope...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - July 2014

In This Issue: - Eleventh Circuit: Excess Insurer, Like All Florida Bad Faith Claimants, Must Prove Causation to Succeed on Bad Faith Claim Against Primary Insurer - Northern District of Alabama: No Bad Faith...more

Western District of Texas: An Expert Must Base a Determination of Bad Faith on the Facts Available to the Insurer When it Acted

Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 1:12-CV-491-DAE, 2014 WL 2711849 (W.D. Tex. June 16, 2014) - The Western District of Texas finds that a policyholder’s expert witness is not qualified to opine when he does not...more

Northern District of Alabama: No Bad Faith Where Insured Made Misrepresentations in Court Filings and Insurer Reasonably Relied on...

The Northern District of Alabama finds that an insurer did not act in bad faith by denying coverage for damage caused by a house fire where investigators suspected arson, the insured made misrepresentations in bankruptcy...more

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