Does a Bad Faith Cause of Action Survive an Appraisal Award? The Answer May Be, “It Depends.” Two recent federal court decisions – Texas and Utah – examine this issue, reaching the same result based on different analyses.

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Intermodal Equipment Logistics, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas -

Earlier this year, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled an insured can pursue its bad faith claim even where the insurer made timely payment of the appraisal award and the court dismissed the breach of contract claim on summary judgment. Intermodal Equip. Logistics, LLC and Sea Train Logistics, LLC v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co., No. 3:10-cv-00458 (S.D. Tex. Galveston Div. May, 24, 2012).

Intermodal Equipment Logistics (Intermodal) made claims to Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company (Hartford) for its business income loss caused by Hurricane Ike, which hit the Texas shores in 2008. Hartford valued and paid $208,000 for the loss. Intermodal filed suit against Hartford in September 2010, alleging Hartford grossly, and in bad faith, undervalued Intermodal’s losses and breached the insurance contract. The parties agreed to mediate, but when this failed in May 2011, Hartford successfully compelled appraisal in accordance with the standard appraisal provision in its policy. The appraisal finished in January 2012 and awarded Intermodal $705,539, which Hartford timely paid.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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