State Farm

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Texas Court Of Appeals Reduces $115 Million Punitive Award To A Mere Shadow Of Itself

Courts applying BMW and State Farm often emphasize the Supreme Court’s admonition that the constitutional line is not “marked by a simple mathematical formula”—typically when rejecting a defendant’s argument that the ratio of...more

More Common Sense: Coverage for Collapse Requires More Than an Engineer’s Finding of Substantial Impairment

In February this blog commented on Washington State’s newly-adopted definition of “collapse” in property insurance policies that contain no specific definition of the term. (Observer, February 8, 2016, Common Sense Prevails: ...more

Insurance Coverage – Genuine Dispute as Defense to Bad Faith

Clayton D. Paslay, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (June 27, 2016) - Under the genuine dispute doctrine, an insurer denying or delaying the payment of...more

Genuine Dispute Defeats Both Bad Faith and Elder Abuse

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

Nevada Adopts Cumis Counsel Requirement – Who’s Next?

In September 2015, the Nevada Supreme Court issued a decision in State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Hansen, 131 Nev. Adv. Op. 74, which held that Nevada law requires an insurer to provide independent Cumis counsel when there...more

Florida Court Rejects Auto Body Shops' Effort to Revive their Antitrust Claims Against the Auto Insurance Industry

On May 12, District Judge Gregory Presnell (Middle District of Florida) denied plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration in the In re Auto Body Shop Antitrust Litigation, delivering another victory to insurers seeking to derail...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

Round Up The Usual And Customary Suspects: Insurers May Determine UCR Prices By Shopping At Retail Outlets

For more than a decade, medical providers have tried to limit the discretion of automobile insurers to pay less than the billed amount for services and equipment offered to injured insureds. Most of these efforts involve...more

Arizona Legislature Fixes Insurance Agent Liability Loophole

Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey, has signed a bill that corrects a major loophole that had subjected insurance agents who write auto policies to increased professional liability exposure. House Bill 2129 was drafted in response...more

Insurers Gain Additional Dismissals in the Florida Auto Body Action

In early 2014, a group of Florida auto body shops sued the leading auto insurers in their state, alleging that the insurers had conspired to suppress the amounts the auto body shops received in reimbursement rates. The case,...more

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare!

April 23rd will be the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth in 1564. He died on the same date in 1616, making this the 400th anniversary of his death. Actually, the exact date of his birth is unknown, but it is...more

Reservation of Rights Letters Help Avoid Prejudice in the Third Party Context

When discussing bad faith in the third party context, most of the discussion properly centers on the duty to settle a claim. However, other actions taken by a policyholder and carrier can have an impact. The recent case of...more

Recent Washington Decisions Illustrate Need to Handle Property Claims in Timely Manner

An issue that often arises in the context of property insurance is whether a carrier’s delay in adjusting a claim can create a basis for a viable bad faith claim.  The law in each state is different and the prudent practice...more

Can Resolving a Legal Claim Be an Unfair Trade Practice?

A recent federal decision considers how N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 applies when a plaintiff attacks the resolution of a legal claim. The decision might create a new categorical limit on direct-unfairness claims under section...more

Diminished Value Claims Under Homeowners Coverage Certified in Georgia Class Action

The court in Thompson v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30308 (D. Ga. 2016), recently issued a mixed ruling on class certification regarding diminished value claims for Georgia homeowners. The plaintiffs...more

Property Insurance Diminution in Value Class Action: Georgia Federal Court Certifies Class

One of the issues I’ve been covering on this blog is a series of putative class actions in Georgia arising out of a Georgia Supreme Court decision in 2012, which held that diminution in value of real property is potentially...more

Wilcox v. State Farm: Minnesota Supreme Court Decision In Labor Depreciation Class Action

Yesterday the Minnesota Supreme Court issued its opinion in Wilcox v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, a putative class action alleging that State Farm, in estimating the “actual cash value” of property damage under...more

Common Sense Prevails: State of Collapse Nonexistent Thirteen Years before Discovery of Decay

For years, property insurance policies that exclude rot damage have been called upon to cover rot because the policies extend coverage to “collapse”—an undefined term—caused by hidden decay, even if the structure remains...more

Florida District Court of Appeals Addresses Voluntary Payment By Insurer After Suit Filed

In a recent decision, another Florida District Court of Appeals weighed in on the issue of whether voluntary payment by an insurer after suit is filed is a “confession of judgment” for purposes of awarding the insureds’...more

Florida Supreme Court Rules Defendants May Not Admit Evidence of Potential Collateral Source Benefits Provided by Social...

In John Joerg, Jr., etc., et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. SC13-1768 (October 15, 2015), the Florida Supreme Court held that defendants are precluded from introducing evidence regarding collateral...more

Florida’s Third District Finds $120,000 Attorneys’ Fee Award Against Insurer To Be Excessive

In State Farm Fla. Ins. Co. v. Alvarez, 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 13767 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. September 16, 2015), the Third District reversed a $120,000.00 award for attorneys’ fees entered in favor of Jose and Martha...more

When is a Vehicle Not a “Vehicle”?

Two police officers were riding in a police car that was struck by an intoxicated underinsured driver. The officer in the passenger seat suffered serious injuries that were inadequately compensated by the tortfeasor’s...more

Under Illinois Law, Mine Subsidence Held to Be a Type of Excluded Earth Movement

Ever since Mattis v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 118 Ill.App.3d 612, 73 Ill.Dec. 907, 454 N.E.2d 1156 (1983), Illinois courts have held that an earth movement exclusion contained in a first-party policy applies only to earth...more

Life and Annuity Series: Excessive Fee Cases

Below is an update on the "excessive fee" cases under section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940. Most of these complaints are now proceeding on the "sub-adviser" theory: that annuity contract-holders pay...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

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