California Court of Appeal Refuses to Extend Insurer's Duties to Nonparty: Spouse of Deceased Insured Has No Independent Fraud Claim Against Carrier

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A spouse may not sue an insurer for individual tort claims under a health insurance policy issued to his deceased wife. Refusing to create a new tort under California law, California’s Fourth Appellate District in The Mega Life and Health Insurance Company v. Superior Court, _ Cal. App. 4th _ (April 14, 2009) thus ordered the trial court to grant the health insurer’s motion for summary adjudication on the plaintiff’s fraud claim, although the spouse’s claims as successor in interest to his deceased wife remained viable.

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