News & Analysis as of

Bad Faith Breach of Contract

Poisoning the Well: Washington Supreme Court Applies Efficient Proximate Cause to Eviscerate Pollution Exclusion in Liability...

by Carlton Fields on

Professionals and practitioners in first party property insurance are likely familiar with the efficient proximate cause rule, which requires an insurance policy to provide coverage where “a covered peril sets in motion a...more

Shot Through the Heart, But the Excess Carrier Isn’t to Blame: Georgia Federal Court Finds Policy’s Broad Firearms Exclusion Bars...

by Carlton Fields on

On June 1, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted summary judgment in favor of AIG Specialty Insurance Co. in a case involving the application of the firearms exclusion in Powe v. Chartis...more

Georgia Federal Court Finds Policy’s Broad Firearms Exclusion Bars Coverage

by Carlton Fields on

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted summary judgment in favor of AIG Specialty Insurance Co. in a case involving the application of the firearms exclusion in Powe v. Chartis Specialty...more

Absolute Pollution Exclusion—Not So Absolute

by Perkins Coie on

Slapping insurers with breach of contract and bad faith, Washington state’s highest court recently found that a general liability policy’s so-called “absolute” pollution exclusion may not be so absolute. In Xia et al. v....more

Top 10 Things Defense Lawyers Need to Know About Lack of Good Faith Claims

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

By now, every Maryland defense lawyer knows that there is a cause of action that can be leveled against insurers for lack of good faith. Most even know that this cause of action is based on Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. §...more

Law Firm Sues Insurer Over $700K in Lost Billings Due to Ransomware Attack: eDiscovery Trends

by CloudNine on

A small Rhode Island law firm has filed a lawsuit against its insurance company after the insurer refused to pay $700,000 in lost billings following a ransomware attack on the firm that locked down the firm’s computer files...more

Eastern District of Pennsylvania Dismisses Bad Faith Claims in Two Recent Decisions Where Plaintiffs Made Only Conclusory...

by Saul Ewing LLP on

Mittman v. Nationwide Affinity Insurance Co., No. 16-04658 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 10, 2017) - Jeremy Mittman’s car was rear-ended in a hit-and-run incident and both Mittman and his son sustained significant injuries. Mittman...more

Pennsylvania Federal District Court: Insurer’s Reliance on “Reasonable” Interpretation of Law Does Not Automatically Bar Bad Faith

by Cozen O'Connor on

On March 13, 2017, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, rejected the argument that an insurer does not act in bad faith if it relies on a reasonable interpretation of unsettled case law. The...more

Win for Insurance Industry in Computer Fraud Coverage Ruling

by Cozen O'Connor on

Computers are involved at some point in almost every business transaction—that is the reality of life in the digital age. The implications of that fact are still being worked out with respect to the interpretation of...more

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Energy Transfer’s Termination of Merger Agreement for Lack of Tax Opinion

by White & Case LLP on

Resolving a dispute surrounding one of the largest M&A deals of 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Delaware Chancery Court's decision allowing Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. to terminate its proposed acquisition of...more

Ninth Circuit Reaffirms Policyholder Right to Sue Recalcitrant Excess Insurer

by Nossaman LLP on

A new opinion published on March 21, 2017 from the Ninth Circuit (Teleflex Medical Inc. v National Union, Case no 14-56366 ) affirmed a $6+ M judgment against AIG subsidiary National Union, who was excess a primary policy...more

Third Circuit Affirms Rescission of $25 Million Contaminated Products Policy

by Carlton Fields on

In H.J. Heinz Co. v. Starr Surplus Lines Ins. Co., No. 16-1447 (3d Cir. Jan. 11, 2017), the Third Circuit affirmed a District Court’s order allowing insurer Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company (“Starr”) to rescind a $25...more

Eastern District of Pennsylvania: No Bifurcation Where Bad Faith Could Exist Independently of Breach of Contract

by Saul Ewing LLP on

Eizen Fineburg & McCarthy, P.C. v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co., No. 2:16-cv-02461-JHS, 2017 WL 194226 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 18, 2017)? - On January 30, 2011, law firm Eizen Fineburg & McCarthy, P.C. (“the Firm”), purchased a...more

First Department Confirms Hedge Funds Did Not Act in Bad Faith and Affirms Multi-Million Dollar Judgment Against CDS Counterpart

In Good Hill Master Fund L.P. v. Deutsche Bank AG, No. 600858/10-2188B, 2017 BL 19363 (App. Div. 1st Dep’t Jan. 24, 2017), the First Department unanimously affirmed a judgment entered in the Commercial Division of over $90...more

Fifth Circuit Provides Road Map for Review and Trial of Bad Faith Claims in Mississippi

by Cozen O'Connor on

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

Insurance – Coverage – Pyrolysis as an “Occurrence”

by Low, Ball & Lynch on

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

The Ghost of Systems Past: “Big Data” Suits Loom, But Old Data Issues Remain Unresolved

by Pullman & Comley, LLC on

2017 could be big for litigation over “Big Data” applications in insurance. This past year saw the filing of several “price optimization” class actions, and claims against a fraud detection tool, similar to the ones used by...more

How Concerned Should Insurers be About Punitive Damages in California?

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

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

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

by Wilson Elser on

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

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

by Jaburg Wilk on

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

No Breach Of Contract Or Bad Faith As A Matter Of Law Where Defense Counsel Agreed To Accept Rates Paid By Insurer

by Saul Ewing LLP on

Feld v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co., Case No. 12-1789 (D.D.C. Sept. 13, 2016). In a case where Saul Ewing represented Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (“FFIC”), the District Court for the District of Columbia granted FFIC’s...more

In the Tenth Circuit, Colorado’s On-Going Debate over the “Fairly Debatable” Defense

by Cozen O'Connor on

A recent Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, The Home Loan Investment Co. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 827 F.3d 1256 (10th Cir. 2016), demonstrates that, although multiple jurisdictions may recognize similar defenses...more

How Appraisal Protects Against Texas Insurance Code Abuse

by Zelle LLP on

Insurance practice in Texas has become somewhat rote. Typically, a petition is filed against both an insurance company (that is often not based or incorporated in Texas) and a local adjuster. In addition to a breach of...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Determine if “Motive of Self-Interest or Ill-Will” is Required to Establish a Claim for Insurance...

by Saul Ewing LLP on

In Pennsylvania, an insurance bad faith claim requires an insured to show by clear and convincing evidence that the insurer 1) lacked a reasonable basis for denying benefits under the policy, and 2) knew or recklessly...more

Three Point Shot - Summer 2016

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

800-Meter Champion Berian Eventually Outpaces Nike Endorsement Suit... Or Did He? World 800-meter champion Boris Berian is seemingly capable of out-running just about anything these days. Berian is just a year removed...more

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Cybersecurity

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