California Supreme Court Says "No" to Insureds Trying to Recover Under California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act

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Fairbanks v. Superior Court, __ Cal. 4th __, 2009 WL 1035264 (April 20, 2009).

California has long been known to insurance bad faith practitioners for its consumer-friendly insurance bad faith laws. But seemingly not content with their common law bad faith remedies, bad faith plaintiffs? lawyers have periodically attempted to sue insurers for claims based on California?s Consumers Legal Remedies Act (Cal. Civ. Code sections 1750 et seq.) (the “CLRA”). The advantages in doing so arguably include a slightly different definition of wrongful conduct and an independent basis on which to seek an award of attorneys? fees. Regardless, the issue is now moot: On April 20, 2009, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Fairbanks v. Superior Court, __ Cal. 4th __, 2009 WL 1035264 (April 20, 2009). There, the Court definitively ruled that the sale of life insurance is not a service that is subject to the CLRA's remedial provisions.

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