Bad Faith

News & Analysis as of

Don’t Get Burned by a “Holt Demand” in Georgia

Georgia has a very specific law called “Holt demands” concerning time-limited demands made against a liability insurance policy. In Southern General Ins. Co. v. Holt, 262 Ga. 267, 416 S.E.2d 274 (1992), the Georgia Supreme...more

With No Proof of Duty to Preserve or Bad Faith, Plaintiffs’ Request for Sanctions is Denied: eDiscovery Case Law

In Reyes et. al. v. Julia Place Condominiums Homeowners Association, Inc., et. al., No. 12-2043 (E.D.L.A., Oct. 7, 2016), Louisiana District Judge Carl J. Barbier, in denying the plaintiffs’ request for sanctions, stated that...more

How Concerned Should Insurers be About Punitive Damages in California?

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

"Two Court of Chancery Deal Litigation Decisions Provide Helpful Guidance"

Chelsea Therapeutics: Post-Closing Bad Faith Claim a ‘Rare Bird’ in Delaware Absent Allegations of Self-Interestedness or Lack of Independence - In In re Chelsea Therapeutics International LTD Stockholders Litigation,...more

Cybersecurity liability: Delaware has good news for directors

The Delaware Chancery Court just issued an opinion that will have directors breathing a sigh of relief in connection with cybersecurity risks. In its opinion – Reiter v Fairbank, C.A. No. 11693-CB (Del. Ch. Oct. 18, 2016) –...more

Insuring Fine Art: The Visual Artists Rights Act and Its Bad Faith Implications

Insuring fine art can present challenges that are not encountered with other types of property. One of these challenges involves the application of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (17 U.S.C. §106A) (“VARA”) when artwork...more

Bill Caravetta Prevails on Defense of Bad Faith Claim, Judge Rules on Motion for Summary Judgment

This was a workers’ compensation/bad faith lawsuit brought by Plaintiffs Kenneth Ingram and Wiley Harrison, both truck drivers for M3 Transportation. While transporting Department of Defense cargo for M3 Transport, Plaintiff...more

Nickerson Redux: Five Lessons On Punitive Damages For Bad Faith Attorneys

This past June the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company, 63 Cal.4th 363 (2016), holding that post-trial Brandt fees could be included in the damage calculus for...more

Appeals Court Explains Punitive Damages Awards For Extreme Reprehensibility Or Unusually Small, Hard-To-Detect Or Hard-To-Measure...

In Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co. (No. B234271A, filed 11/3/16), (“Nickerson II”) a California appeals court outlined the requirements for complying with the single-digit multiplier annunciated as a Constitutional...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Plausible Claim of Damages Avoids Dismissal of Bad Faith Lawsuit

Can an insurer be potentially liable for breach of contract or bad faith where the insured can only plead a plausible claim of damages? The Ninth Circuit has answered “yes” in a recent decision in the case of Beverly Burton...more

Labor Board’s ‘Nonacquiescence’ is an Instrument of Oppression, Federal Appeals Court Declares

The federal appeals court in D.C. has issued a scathing rebuke of the National Labor Relations Board’s blanket nonacquiescence policy and ordered the Board to pay nearly $18,000.00 in attorney’s fees for what the court deemed...more

California Appellate Court Takes Equitable Subrogation to the Excess

In California, where a primary insurer is found to have unreasonably failed to settle within its policy limits, and a judgment is later entered against their insured in excess of those limits, the primary carrier can be...more

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

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

Washington Supreme Court: Corporate Attorney’s Communications with Former Employees Not Privileged

The Supreme Court of Washington recently held that the attorney-client privilege does not protect a corporation’s attorney’s communications with former employees of the corporation, even if the communications concern events...more

Florida Sinkhole Statute And Recovery Of Attorneys’ Fees Without Bad Faith: Florida Supreme Court Reverses The 5th DCA And...

In Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co., 2016 Fla. LEXIS 2148 (Sept. 29, 2016), the Florida Supreme Court determined that the 5th DCA misapplied and misinterpreted two statutes, the first providing a presumption of correctness to the...more

Avoiding Lender Liability for Credit-Related Actions in California

Aside from general statutory prohibitions on lender discrimination, there are certain circumstances under California law in which lenders may be held liable for credit-related actions, such as negotiating or denying credit....more

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

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

Seventh Circuit Holds that Insurers Cannot Challenge Policies for Lack of Insurable Interest

On October 12, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in an opinion authored by Judge Richard Posner, affirmed a district court decision finding that securities intermediary U.S. Bank, N.A. is...more

IN Catastrophes: Preparing for Hurricane Matthew Claims in the Carolinas

Thousands of homes and other buildings both on the coast and in the interior of the Carolinas have been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, and ongoing flooding continues to cause damage and hinder recovery efforts. By...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Dismisses Litigation Arising from Controller Buyout of Books-A-Million Under "MFW" Framework

On October 10, 2016, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued its decision in In re Books-A-Million, Inc. Stockholders Litigation. The decision, authored by Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster, is important because it applies the...more

Refusal to Pay Claims to Gain Negotiating Leverage Is Abuse of Discretion Under ERISA, Court Says

A federal district court found that Cigna Healthcare abused its discretion, and thus was liable under section 502(a)(1)(B) of ERISA, when its primary motivation for refusing to pay a hospital’s claims was to enhance its...more

Rescission: An Underutilized Tool

The rescission of an insurance policy is one of the most underutilized tools in handling insurance claims. If used properly, it unwinds the insurance transaction and the parties are restored to their position prior to the...more

Fifth Circuit: If It Ain’t Broke, Not Paying To Fix It Ain’t Bad Faith

Toney v. State Farm Lloyds, Case No. 14-40914, 2016 WL 4784012 (5th Cir. Sept. 13, 2016). After a March 2012 hail storm damaged his home in Mission, Texas, Kenneth Toney (“Toney”) filed a claim with State Farm Lloyds...more

Money, Dirt and Steel: Fall 2016 Newsletter

Statute of Limitations for Encroachment on an Easement - Injury to easement versus removal of encroachment distinguished - In our 2014-2015 Update we reported on the decision issued by the North Carolina Court of...more

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

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

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