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Does an Insurer Commit “Bad Faith” by Refusing to Settle Your Case?

Barry P. Goldberg is regularly asked whether an insurer is committing “bad faith” by failing or refusing to settle a case. Most accident victims do not realize that the “at fault” party’s insurer really owes virtually no duty...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - October 2014

In This Issue: - Florida District Court of Appeal: A Prematurely Filed Bad Faith Claim Does Not Compel Dismissal - Florida District Court of Appeal: Insurer’s Liability For Breach Of Contract Need Not Be...more

National Union Prevails on $40 Million Coblentz Enforcement Action in D&O Case

On October 20, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted summary judgment to National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., in BondSafeguard v. National Union, 6:13-cv-561. The court held...more

Missouri Court of Appeals Rejects Insurers’ Appeal of Jury Verdict on Bad Faith Failure to Settle, but Remands for New Trial on...

Advantage Bldgs. & Exteriors, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., No. WD76880, 2014 WL 4290814 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2014), reh’g and/or transfer denied (Sept. 30, 2014). Missouri Court of Appeals affirms sufficiency of...more

Absent an Initial Showing That It Is a Fiduciary, Employer Is Immune from Breach of Fiduciary Liability Claim under ERISA in the...

In Moon v. BWX Technologies, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12525 (4th Cir. July 2, 2014), the Fourth Circuit rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims, determining that an employer’s failure to alert an employee...more

Ninth Circuit Holds That Provider Cannot Sue Nonsignatory Insurer for Breach of Contract

On October 10, 2014, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of Manatt client The MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company. In an unpublished memorandum opinion, the Ninth Circuit held that a health care...more

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

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

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

Covered or Not: Has Hartford v. Swift Opened a Faster Lane for Intellectual Property and Insurance Mediation?

The California Supreme Court recently issued its longawaited coverage decision in Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. Swift Distribution, Inc., 59 Cal. 4th 277 (2014). The Court, applying California state law, upheld the trial...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

Leap of Bad Faith: TPAs May Be Sued for Aiding Their Own Actions

Insurers have a duty to process claims in good faith, but sometimes they farm the job out to third-party administrators (TPAs). If the TPA fouls up, many states hold that the insurer is still liable—for its own breach of...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

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

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

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

Eleventh Circuit: Excess Insurer, Like All Florida Bad Faith Claimants, Must Prove Causation to Succeed on Bad Faith Claim Against...

Westchester Fire Insurance Co. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 13-12932, 2014 WL 2766764 (11th Cir. Jun. 19, 2014) - The Eleventh Circuit finds that a primary insurer did not act in bad faith by failing to inform...more

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