News & Analysis as of

Bad Faith Punitive Damages

Supreme Court Says Attorney Fees Must Be Causally Linked to Misconduct

by Zapproved LLC on

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger, No. 15-1406 (U.S. Apr. 18, 2017). The Supreme Court recently issued a unanimous opinion resolving a split in the circuit courts about what attorney fees courts can award for misconduct...more

SCOTUS Reverses and Remands Circuit Court Award of Fees for Discovery Misconduct: eDiscovery Case Law

by CloudNine on

In Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger, 581 U.S. ___ (2017), the Supreme Court of the United States, in a decision delivered by Justice Kagan reversed and remanded the decision by the US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, for...more

Caveat creditor: Risks of filing an involuntary bankruptcy

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

When faced with a recalcitrant debtor, clients sometimes move too quickly to put the debtor into an involuntary bankruptcy, especially when fraudulent transfers and other creditor avoidance attempts become apparent. But...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

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

by Cozen O'Connor on

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

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

Health Update - July 2016

The Vulnerability of Healthcare Information - According to a report the Brookings Institute issued in May 2016, 23% of all data breaches occur in the healthcare industry. Nearly 90% of healthcare organizations had some...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies Constitutional Limits on Punitive Damages

In Brandt v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court held that when a plaintiff proves that an insurance company withheld policy benefits in bad faith, attorneys' fees reasonably incurred to compel payment of the...more

Genuine Dispute Defeats Both Bad Faith and Elder Abuse

by Cozen O'Connor on

The Paslays sued State Farm for failing to pay a portion of the damage caused to their Pacific Palisades house by a heavy rainstorm and for forcing them to move back into the house while it was still under construction. The...more

Genuine Dispute Over Cause of Damage and Insureds’ Demolition Before Inspection Negate Bad Faith and Elder Abuse Claims

In Paslay v. State Farm General Ins. Co. (No. B265348, filed 6/27/16), a California appeals court found triable issues of fact regarding whether State Farm breached its contract in paying a water loss, but affirmed summary...more

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

Insurance – Bad Faith – Punitive Damages

by Low, Ball & Lynch on

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

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

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

by Cozen O'Connor on

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

Pennsylvania: Public policy prevents punitive damages from being recoverable as compensable damages in bad faith or breach of...

by Dentons on

In an issue of first impression, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that punitive damages awarded against an insured in a prior personal injury suit are not recoverable as compensable damages in a later breach of...more

Third Circuit Affirms Bad Faith Involuntary Bankruptcy Dismissal, Increasing Risk of Punitive Damages

by Cozen O'Connor on

Last week’s decision by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in In re: Forever Green Athletic Fields, Inc., No. 14-3906 (3d Cir. Oct. 16, 2015) held that an involuntary bankruptcy petition filed under 11 U.S.C. §...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - September 2015

Kennedy v. Allstate, No. 15-2221 (E.D. Pa. July 8, 2015). District Court recognizes possibility that insurance adjusters owe a duty of care to insureds that would be breached by failing to conduct a reasonable...more

Some Lessons From Berg v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co.

by Cozen O'Connor on

On July 22, 2015, the Pennsylvania trial court in Berg v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., Civ. Action No. 98-813 (Pa. Common Pleas, Jul. 22, 2015) filed a supplemental opinion under Pa. R.A.P. 1925(a) in connection with the appeal...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - July 2015

Eighth Circuit: No Bad Faith Where Insured Failed to Make a Sufficient Demand and Insurer Refused to Entertain Settlement Offer Prior to Completing Investigation - Purscell v. Tico Ins. Co., No. 13-2362, 2015 WL 3855253...more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Predicts That Pennsylvania Supreme Court Would Prevent an Insured from Recovering Punitive Damages...

Wolfe v. Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 12-4450, 2015 WL 3634779 (3d Cir. June 12, 2015). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals holds that evidence of punitive damages award against insured in underlying suit was not...more

For “At-Issue Waiver,” The Best Defense May Not Be An Affirmative Defense

by Carlton Fields on

As this blog has repeatedly documented, it can be hard for insurers to assert the attorney-client privilege in the context of bad faith litigation. One difficulty arises in states that enforce a presumption against the...more

Third Circuit Holds That Under Pennsylvania Law An Insured Against Whom Punitive Damages Have Been Imposed May Not Recover Those...

As a matter of public policy, Pennsylvania (like a number of other states) prohibits insuring against punitive damages. But what happens if an insurer refuses to settle a case against a policyholder within policy limits and...more

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli Reporter - Summer 2015

- In this Issue: - Has Exposure to Punitive Damages Increased in Arizona? - The Different Warranties Covering A Contractor’s Work - The Frustrating EEOC Conciliation Process - Demanding Access to...more

Arizona Reduces Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case Again: Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance

by Jaburg Wilk on

In Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance Company, 235 Ariz. 371, 332 P.3d 597 (App. 2014), despite finding an insurer’s conduct moderately to highly reprehensible, the Arizona Court of Appeals recently reduced a punitive...more

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