Insurance Civil Remedies Civil Procedure

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Supreme Court - December, 2016 #2

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in three cases today: Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-777: A jury found that smartphones manufactured by petitioner Samsung infringed respondent Apple...more

Don’t Get Burned by a “Holt Demand” in Georgia

Georgia has a very specific law called “Holt demands” concerning time-limited demands made against a liability insurance policy. In Southern General Ins. Co. v. Holt, 262 Ga. 267, 416 S.E.2d 274 (1992), the Georgia Supreme...more

Court Rules Fixed Income Annuity Is Not A Security Under The CSL

Because annuity contracts involve the payment of money in the expectation of future payments, one might conclude that they are securities within the meaning of the California Corporate Securities Law of 1968. Evidently, that...more

Montana Supreme Court Holds Co-Insurer Breached Duty to Defend

In its recent decision in J & C Moodie Properties, LLC v. Deck, 2016 MT 301 (Mont. Nov. 22, 2016), the Supreme Court of Montana had occasion to consider what constitutes a breach of an insurer’s duty to defend in a...more

How Concerned Should Insurers be About Punitive Damages in California?

The California Court of Appeal recently published another opinion about the Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance case. The court held to its maximum 10:1 punitive-to-compensatory-damages ratio and analyzed whether this...more

Missouri Supreme Court resets the rules for collecting leaking underground storage tank cleanup costs in litigation

An impactful decision from the Missouri Supreme Court will likely affect how leaking underground storage tank (“UST”) owners collect cleanup costs from the Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund (“Fund”) in the future....more

What's a Court to Consider After a Post-Suit Payment?

Most first-party insurance lawsuits are accompanied by a claim for attorneys’ fees based on section 627.428, Florida Statutes. The operative language of this statute has been part of Florida law for over a century, and the...more

UIM Carrier has Standing to Seek Determination of Workers’ Comp Lien

In the recent case of Dion v. Batten, No. COA16-63, 2016 WL 4088417 (N.C. App. Aug. 2, 2016), the North Carolina Court of Appeals held for the first time that an underinsured motorist (UIM) carrier has standing to seek a...more

California Appellate Court Takes Equitable Subrogation to the Excess

In California, where a primary insurer is found to have unreasonably failed to settle within its policy limits, and a judgment is later entered against their insured in excess of those limits, the primary carrier can be...more

Florida Supreme Court Rules Incorrect Denial of Insurance Benefits Can Trigger Award of Attorneys’ Fees to Insured

On September 29, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court held, in Johnson v. Omega Insurance Company (No. SC14-2124), that a homeowner is entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees after an improper denial of insurance benefits. The...more

Insurer Liable for Mandatory Double Damages for Failure to Reimburse a Medicare Advantage Organization for Medicare Benefits It...

Humana Medical Plan, Inc. v Western Heritage Insurance Company ____ F.3d ____ 2016 WL 4169120 (11th Circuit, August 8, 2016) - The federal Medicare and Medicaid Acts have been called “among the most completely...more

Florida Sinkhole Statute And Recovery Of Attorneys’ Fees Without Bad Faith: Florida Supreme Court Reverses The 5th DCA And...

In Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co., 2016 Fla. LEXIS 2148 (Sept. 29, 2016), the Florida Supreme Court determined that the 5th DCA misapplied and misinterpreted two statutes, the first providing a presumption of correctness to the...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Reverses $1 Million Award of Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case for Alleged “Institutional Bad...

In Sobieski v. Am. Standard Ins. Co. of Wisconsin, 2016 WL 5436588 (Ariz.App. Sept. 29, 2016), despite upholding a bad faith judgment for an insurer conducting an unreasonable investigation and denying a claim, the Arizona...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict in UIM Bad Faith Case

On Friday, September 30, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law that had been granted by the Middle District Court of Florida in a uninsured/underinsured motorist...more

Insurance Coverage – Insurance Fraud Prevention Act

The People ex rel. Allstate Insurance Company, et al. v. Daniel H. Dahan, et al. - Court of Appeal, Second District (September 15, 2016) - Under Section 1871.7 of the California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act...more

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