Bad Faith

News & Analysis as of

California Supreme Court Holds That Brandt Fees Awarded Post-Trial By A Court Must Be Included In Denominator Of...

On June 9, 2016, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Co., holding that so-called Brandt fees should be treated as compensatory damages when calculating the ratio of...more

JSH Reporter - Summer 2016

We are excited to announce the launch of our Summer 2016 JSH Reporter! The JSH Reporter is designed to provide information about changes in the law and how these affect a variety of industries. In this issue, you will...more

Spoliation Claims Are Not a Recreational Vehicle to Be Raised at Any Time in a Case

LaFerrera v. Camping World RV Sales of Birmingham, No. 15-00473 (N.D. Ala. Mar. 21, 2016). Relying on state law, the court rejected a request for spoliation sanctions included as part of a motion for summary judgment...more

The Attack on Attorney-Client Privilege in Insurance Cases

Policyholder lawyers are a creative group. One of the more recent manifestations of this creativity is the attempt to attack the attorney-client privilege in the context of insurance coverage disputes. While these attacks...more

Insurance – Bad Faith – Punitive Damages

Thomas Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company - California Supreme Court (June 9, 2016) - Absent special justification, ratios of punitive damages to compensatory damages that greatly exceed 9 or 10 to 1...more

As Delaware Goes, So Goes Washington?

In a posting yesterday, Professor Stephen Bainbridge poses the question “When an acquirer spots red flags: Should Microsoft’s board beware?” He points out...more

Brandt Fees Increase Allowable Punitive Damages Whether Fees are Awarded by Judge or Jury

In Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co. (No. S213873, filed 6/9/16), the California Supreme Court ruled that in an insurance bad faith case an award of attorney’s fees under Brandt v. Superior Court (1985) 37 Cal.3d 813,...more

Delaware Law Updates – The Duty of Loyalty: Anything But ‘Hazy Jurisprudence’ on an Exacting, But Narrow, Standard

In a recent decision out of the Delaware Court of Chancery—In re Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. Stockholders Litigation., Consol. C.A. No. 9640-VCG—Vice Chancellor Glasscock was faced with a claim that the board of...more

Bad Faith Attorneys’ Fees Are Compensatory Damages in Determining Cap On Punitive Damages

On June 9, 2016, the California Supreme Court ruled in Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co., __ Cal.4th ___ (2016) that the attorneys’ fees awarded to a veteran who sued for benefits under a “hospital stay” policy should be...more

Court Orders Cigna to Pay Out-of-Network Surgical Claims

On June 1, 2016, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered Cigna to pay nearly $13.7 million to Humble Surgical Hospital, LLC (“Humble”). Of the nearly $13.7 million, almost $11.4 million...more

The Duty to Follow-up Part II: When The Underlying Litigation Changes

Last month, we discussed the duty to follow-up in the context of an offer to settle made by a tort claimant and how neglect of that duty cost an insurer dearly by converting a claim that could have been settled for $25,000...more

Disregard of Speculative Financial Projections Was Not Bad Faith

In a stockholder challenge to a sale of the company, a plaintiff may rebut the business judgment rule by pleading facts that support a reasonable inference that at least half of the directors, who approved the sale, were not...more

Case Reminds Insurance Agents to Review Process of Receiving Approval from Insureds Before Submitting Applications to Carriers

Schmidt v. Indiana Insurance Co., No. 22S01-1507-PL-412, Supreme Court of Indiana, December 2, 2015 - Plaintiff was the owner of a house in which he allowed his cousin to live from 2007 to 2009. When the cousin moved...more

The Duty to Follow-up: How A $25,000 Offer To Settle Turns Into A $7 Million Loss

In many states, an insurer not only has a duty to timely communicate with its insured and respond to demands for settlement by a claimant asserting a claim regarding the adjustment of a loss, that duty may also include the...more

Cook County Circuit Court Dismisses 201 False Claims Act Lawsuits

At a hearing yesterday, Cook County Circuit Judge James Snyder granted the State of Illinois’ (State) Motion to Dismiss 201 Illinois False Claims Act (FCA) cases filed by the law firm of Stephen B. Diamond, PC (Relator)...more

Treble-Damage Awards as Penalties

Plaintiffs who prove violations of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 are automatically entitled to treble damages under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-16. The automatic trebling of damages for 75-1.1 claims often leads to substantial verdicts...more

Court of Chancery Explains Bad Faith Test

This decision deals with when the actions of directors may be considered to be in bad faith, at least when there is no self-interest involved and the directors are properly informed before taking the time to decide what to...more

Delaware Chancery Court Dismisses Challenge to MLP Drop Down Transaction

The Delaware Chancery Court recently dismissed a challenge to a transaction in which a master limited partnership (the "MLP") repurchased an interest in a crude oil pipeline in 2015 previously sold to its general partner (the...more

Will Discovery Unlock Your Claim File? Federal or State Court Jurisdiction Could Make The Difference

Differences between federal court and state court procedure can be important for insurers that find themselves involved in “bad faith” litigation. If a lawsuit alleging extracontractual claims is filed in federal court, or...more

Drafting Indemnification Provisions to Address Common Issues

Corporate bylaws and operating agreements often contain provisions that provide for indemnification to directors, officers and in some cases employees and agents who become parties to litigation, arbitration or investigations...more

Defence & Indemnity - April 2016: I. INSURANCE ISSUES

General information of claims practices and company personnel obtained by an insurer’s in-house counsel is not the type of confidential information that will disqualify the lawyer from acting as Plaintiff’s counsel against...more

In The Know - 1st Edition, May 2016

Welcome to the first edition of IN, a quarterly digest designed to keep insurers in the know on both the development, as well as the ongoing evolution, of legal trends relevant to first-party property coverage and bad faith...more

N.Y. Court of Appeals Adopts Business Judgment Rule, with Conditions, for Going-Private Mergers

The New York Court of Appeals has followed Delaware in holding that the business-judgment rule applies to going-private mergers as long as certain shareholder-protective measures are met. The court’s May 5, 2016 decision in...more

New and Disruptive Technologies: The Care and Feeding of the New Economy [Expect Focus – Vol. I, Winter 2016]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT - The CFPB Takes First Enforcement Action Related to Data Security Practices. LIFE INSURANCE - Class Certified in Unique Fixed Indexed Annuity Case. Alleged Misrepresentations to DFS Warrant...more

Avoid Inconsistent Communications By “Revolving Door” Adjusters

In CE and CLE courses, we hear all the time that the most often cited reason for a grievance or complaint is lack of communication. This truism provides a useful rule of thumb to avoid bad faith claims. Remember, for most...more

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