Bad Faith

News & Analysis as of

Bad Faith Sentinel - November 2014

In This Issue: - Southern District of California Denies Motion to Dismiss Bad Faith Claim in Homeowners Policy Dispute - Northern District of Indiana: No Bad Faith Where Insurer Has a Rational Basis for its...more

Middle District of Pennsylvania: Mere Delay Does Not Constitute Bad Faith

Shaffer v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 1:13-CV-01837, 2014 WL 5325340 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 20, 2014). Court grants summary judgment to insurer where lengthy investigation was required to determine causation for UIM...more

Loan to Own Variation: Bankruptcy May Not Provide The Answers

In re SR Real Estate Holdings, LLC, 506 B.R. 121 (Bankr. S.D. Cal. 2014) – A group of lenders moved to dismiss the debtor’s bankruptcy case on the basis that it was filed in bad faith, or in the alternative asked the...more

Middle District of Florida: Court Denies Summary Judgment For Insured On First-Party Bad Faith Claim Where Permanence Of Injury...

Cadle v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., No. 6:13-CV-1591-ORL-31G, 2014 WL 4983746 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 6, 2014). Middle District of Florida finds that insured’s bad faith claim for first-party failure to settle could not properly be...more

Ask the Experts About Bad Faith; Just Be Careful How You Do It

In bad faith cases, juries must often decide if the way an insurer processed a claim lacked a “reasonable” basis. Courts have consistently held that experts can help—by explaining how a claim is supposed to be handled. The...more

Northern District of Indiana: No Bad Faith Where Insurer Has a Rational Basis for its Coverage Position

Thorne v. Member Select Ins. Co., No. 2:09 CV 87, 2014 WL 4700873 (N.D. Ind. Sept. 22, 2014). The Northern District of Indiana denies an insured’s motion for reconsideration of the court’s entry of summary judgment in...more

Texas Supreme Court Denies Policyholder’s Discovery Regarding Claims Handling

It is rare to see a state’s highest court address a discovery issue. But the Supreme Court of Texas did just that recently in In re National Lloyds Insurance Co., holding that a policyholder’s demands for discovery about how...more

Is That Covered? Hail Damage

Back in May, 2014, parts of Berks and Lancaster counties were hit with a freak hail storm. With hail as large as tennis balls reported, homes and cars suffered significant damage. Hail damage is generally covered under auto...more

Southern District of California Denies Motion to Dismiss Bad Faith Claim in Homeowners Policy Dispute

Eastman v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 14cv0703, 2014 WL 5355036 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 20, 2014) - Southern District of California denies motion to dismiss bad faith claim in connection with coverage dispute under homeowners...more

Fifth Circuit Reaffirms the Importance of a Reasonable Claim Investigation Prior to Denial

In Santacruz v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, Inc., 2014 WL 5870429 (Nov. 13, 2014), the 5th Circuit allowed a policyholder to pursue a claim for common law and statutory bad faith even though the policyholder repaired the alleged...more

10 Business-Related Torts to Master

If you handle business litigation matters, you need to be fluent in the most common business-related torts and their elements so you can spot the issues immediately—to either allege them or defend against them. Don’t feel...more

Allegation That Court Itself Was Victim Of Fraud Causes Federal Judge To Recuse Himself, All Other Judges In The District

The biggest litigation you’ve probably never heard, the Moonlight Fire litigation, just took another twist. Following a huge Northern California wildfire, the State and the Feds sought tens of millions in damages from...more

Florida High Court To Decide Whether State Insurer Is Immune From Statutory Bad Faith Claims

The Florida Supreme Court has accepted for review a First District decision holding that Florida’s state insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, is not immune from a statutory bad faith failure to...more

Texas Supreme Court Orders and Opinion (10/14)

The Court issued its opinion in No. 13-0761, In re National Lloyds Insurance Company. This petition for a writ of mandamus was not argued; the court has issued a per curiam opinion under Rule 52.8(c). The mandamus petition...more

Attack on Citizens’ Bad Faith Immunity Receives a Chilly Reception at Florida Supreme Court

In 2002, the Florida Legislature created Citizens Property Insurance Company Corporation (Citizens) to make affordable insurance available to Florida citizens who were not otherwise able to obtain property insurance. In...more

Fee Shifting in Trade Secrets Cases

A number of states, including Tennessee, have adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”). A court may award attorney’s fees, if: - A claim of misappropriation is made in bad faith; - A motion to terminate an...more

Missouri Court Imposes Bad Faith Liability Despite Judicial Finding Of No Coverage For Underlying Claim

In Advantage Building, the Western District of Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment against an insurer for extra-contractual liability for bad faith failure to settle a claim within the policy limits. Interestingly,...more

Four’s A Crowd: Third-Party Bad Faith Cases Test the Limits of the Tripartite Relationship

A significant minority of states permit plaintiffs who win judgments against insured defendants to assert claims directly against the defendants’ insurers—including claims for extracontractual liability, based on alleged bad...more

Does an Insurer Commit “Bad Faith” by Refusing to Settle Your Case?

Barry P. Goldberg is regularly asked whether an insurer is committing “bad faith” by failing or refusing to settle a case. Most accident victims do not realize that the “at fault” party’s insurer really owes virtually no duty...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - October 2014

In This Issue: - Florida District Court of Appeal: A Prematurely Filed Bad Faith Claim Does Not Compel Dismissal - Florida District Court of Appeal: Insurer’s Liability For Breach Of Contract Need Not Be...more

Missouri Court of Appeals Rejects Insurers’ Appeal of Jury Verdict on Bad Faith Failure to Settle, but Remands for New Trial on...

Advantage Bldgs. & Exteriors, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., No. WD76880, 2014 WL 4290814 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2014), reh’g and/or transfer denied (Sept. 30, 2014). Missouri Court of Appeals affirms sufficiency of...more

Florida District Court of Appeal: Insurer’s Liability For Breach Of Contract Need Not Be Determined Before Bad Faith Claim Ripens

Cammarata v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company, No. 4D13-185 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Sept. 3, 2014) (en banc). Clarifying recent conflicting precedents, the Florida District Court of Appeal for the Fourth District held...more

Florida District Court of Appeal: A Prematurely Filed Bad Faith Claim Does Not Compel Dismissal

Safeco Ins. Co. of Ill. v. Beare, No. 4D13-3104, 2014 WL 4626851 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Sept. 17, 2014). The Fourth District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida denies an insurer’s petition seeking review of the...more

United States Middle District of Florida Gives Plaintiffs an Option with regard to Premature Bad Faith Claims

In Gianassi v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142600 (M. D. Fla. 2014), the Middle District granted in part and denied in part State Farm’s Motion to Dismiss two counts of Plaintiff’s three-count...more

Florida Appeals Court: In First-party Coverage Dispute, Ruling That Insurer Breached Contract Is Not Prerequisite to Insured’s...

Under Florida law, must a policyholder first prevail on a breach of contract action against the insurer before a bad faith claim may be filed? No, said a majority of the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal, en banc (the...more

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