State Farm

News & Analysis as of

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

“Low-Ball” Settlement Offer On Its Own Is Insufficient To Support A Claim for Bad Faith Under Pennsylvania Law

A low-ball settlement offer on its own is not enough to state a claim for a bad faith according to a federal district court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania which granted the insurer’s motion to dismiss the insured’s...more

The Nuts and Bolts of Tolling an Insurance Policy’s Suit Limitation Provision in New Jersey

A recent New Jersey Federal District Court decision provides a good example of how an insurance policy’s Suit Limitation period may be “stopped” and “re-started” by equitable tolling during the adjustment of a property...more

Insurers Beware: Defending Bad Faith Claim May Lead to Waiver of Privileged Communications

On July 27, 2016, the United States District Court for South Carolina ordered an insurer to turn over its privileged communications. The Court explained that the insurer waived the protections afforded under the...more

Don’t Mess with the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act: One Court’s Appraisal Result

Virtually all property insurance policies contain an appraisal clause, which outlines the appraisal procedure in broad terms. Those broad terms sometimes do not provide much guidance about the process, or about the effect...more

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

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