State Farm

News & Analysis as of

A Reprieve from the Deluge of Hail Litigation in Texas

In recent years, the number of Texas lawsuits arising from hail-damage claims to residential and commercial properties has reached staggering levels, leaving the courts in several Texas counties struggling to keep up with...more

Alaska Creates Exception to General Rule that Injured Party Cannot Sue Insured’s Carrier

The Supreme Court of Alaska in Burnett v. Government Employees Insurance Company, 2017 WL 382648 (Alaska 2017) recently decided in a 3-2 decision that an insurer who voluntarily assumed the responsibility for cleaning up an...more

Washington Supreme Court Restricts Claims Under the Insurance Fair Conduct Act

In a significant victory for insurers, the Washington Supreme Court interpreted the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA), RCW 48.30.015, for the first time and held that IFCA does not authorize an independent cause of action for...more

Washington Supreme Court Limits “Insurance Fair Conduct Act” — Three Things Insurers Must Know

On Groundhog Day 2017, the Washington Supreme Court issued its first major opinion interpreting the state’s 2007 “Insurance Fair Conduct Act” (IFCA). The decade-old legislation had caused shockwaves among insurers when its...more

State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby

The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby addresses sanctions for violating the seal provision of the False Claims Act (FCA). ...more

Accrual of Statutes of Limitations in TX Bad Faith Claims

Every Texas building owner knows that shortly after a hail or wind storm the doorbell knockers will follow. These doorbell knockers are typically contractors or public adjusters, but may even now be attorneys (or their...more

Fifth Circuit Provides Road Map for Review and Trial of Bad Faith Claims in Mississippi

Mississippi essentially has three levels of claim when insurance is at issue: (1) mere breach of contract, allowing recovery of contract damages; (2) breach of contract + no arguable basis for breach, which entitles recovery...more

Insurance – Coverage – Pyrolysis as an “Occurrence”

Tidwell Enterprises, Inc., et al. v. Financial Pacific Ins. Co., Inc. - Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District (December 20, 2016) - According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Pyrolysis is a “chemical...more

Supreme Court Rules on False Claims Act’s Seal Requirement

In the midst of a False Claims Act (FCA) case, the relators have blatantly violated the FCA’s seal provision. Surely this will lead to dismissal, right? Wrong. On Tuesday, December 6, the Supreme Court unanimously...more

Supreme Court Update: Salman V. United States (15-628), Shaw V. United States (15-5991), Samsung Electronics V. Apple (15-777),...

Greetings, Court Fans! The Eight continue to churn out unanimous decisions to start the Term. This Update will cover four of them—Salmon v. United States (No. 15-628), clarifying the "personal benefit" element of...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Seal Violations Do Not Require Dismissal of Qui Tam False Claims Act Suits

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued an anxiously anticipated False Claims Act (“FCA”) decision in State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, holding that a violation of the statute’s seal requirement...more

Supreme Court Rejects Mandatory Dismissal for an FCA Seal Breach

The Supreme Court held that a relator’s breach of the seal in a qui tam case does not require mandatory dismissal of the complaint, but the Court declined to articulate what factors are appropriate to consider in determining...more

Fifth Circuit Clarifies Claims Handling Quandary: When Does a Cause of Action Accrue?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a per curiam opinion in De Jongh v. State Farm Lloyds, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21432 (5th Cir. 2016) that clarified a typical but potentially tricky question involving...more

Supreme Court Concludes that Violation of FCA Seal Provision Does Not Necessarily Mandate Dismissal of Qui Tam Suits

The Supreme Court held yesterday that a violation of the False Claims Act’s seal provision does not mandate dismissal of a relator’s complaint. Justice Kennedy authored the Court’s opinion in the unanimous 8-0 decision. ...more

Supreme Court Holds that Violation of False Claims Act’s Seal Requirement Does Not Mandate Dismissal

The Supreme Court ruled today (December 6, 2016) in State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. U.S. ex rel. Rigsby, ___ S. Ct. ___ (2016). The case probed whether a violation of the False Claims Act’s seal requirement mandated dismissal...more

Supreme Court Decides State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby

On December 6, 2016, the United States Supreme Court decided State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, No. 15-513, holding that the False Claims Act (FCA) does not mandate dismissal of the case when a...more

Repeated Use of Defective Fireplace Triggers Duty to Defend Even if Active Fire Does Not Break Out Until After End of Policy...

In Tidwell Enterprises v. Financial Pacific Ins. Co. (No. C078665, filed 11/29/16), a California appeals court held that that even though a house fire occurred after the policy period, there was nonetheless a possibility of...more

Supreme Court Hears Argument About Violation of FCA Seal Provision

This month the Supreme Court heard oral argument in State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, a case centered on allegations dating back to Hurricane Katrina. The Fifth Circuit had previously upheld a...more

Supreme Court Hears Argument on Sanction Standard for Violations of False Claims Act’s Seal Requirement

We blogged in September about State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. U.S. ex rel. Rigsby, 136 S. Ct. 2386 (2016), a case that is pending before the United States Supreme Court. On Tuesday, November 1, the Supreme Court heard oral...more

What Standard Governs the Dismissal of a Relator's Claim for Violation of the False Claims Act's Seal Requirement in an Action...

In the aftermath of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Cori and Kerri Rigsby accused State Farm Fire and Casualty Company of falsely misclassifying wind damage as flood damage, among other misdeeds, leaving...more

Understanding How Insurance Policy Conditions Apply When There is an Assignment of Benefits

Florida first-party property insurers have seen a dramatic rise in assigned insurance claims. In the typical scenario, an insured assigns her rights to receive insurance proceeds from a loss to a contractor in return for 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

The Few. The Responsible. Those who can serve as Fiduciaries for Brokerage Firms.

Most brokerage firms are staying mum about how they intend to meet their requirements under the new fiduciary rule in 2017, but some have tipped their hands and are going to go the approach that I thought they would....more

Do Loose Lips Sink Qui Tam Complaints? Supreme Court May Soon Determine if Violation of False Claims Act’s Seal Requirement...

The Supreme Court plans to review a decision that allowed relators to maintain their False Claims Act lawsuit even after a series of disclosures that may have violated the law’s requirement that lawsuits be “sealed” and...more

Labor Depreciation Class Action Update: Decisions on Class Certification

I have had a busy summer and am overdue in updating readers on recent decisions in class actions against insurers involving the “labor depreciation” issue. The issue involves whether, when insurers estimate the “actual cash...more

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