Washington Insurance Law - 2013 Year in Review

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2013 was a particularly eventful year in Washington insurance law. This paper summarizes the holdings of several notable Washington insurance decisions that were filed in 2013.

Bad Faith -

Attorney-Client Privilege and Work-Product Protection in Bad Faith Suits:

..J Cedell v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Washington, 176 Wn.2d 686, 295 P.3d 239 (February 21, 2013) (A 5-4 majority of the Washington Supreme Court declared that it will presume that a first-party insurer may not assert the attorney-client privilege or work-product protection in a bad faith lawsuit. The majority held that an insurer may seek to rebut that presumption by demonstrating that the insurer’s attorney “was not engaged in the quasi-fiduciary tasks of investigating and evaluating or processing the claim, but instead providing the insurer with counsel as to its own potential liability; for example, whether or not coverage exists under the law.” If the insurer can satisfy that burden, it should be entitled to an in camera review of the disputed information and the redaction of privileged and protected information).

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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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