Wisconsin Appeals Court Puts The End In Defend: Insurer Can Settle The Only Covered Claim And Then Withdraw From The Defense

Randy J. Maniloff, White and Williams, LLP Overture, curtain, lights! This is it. We'll hit the heights! And oh, what heights we'll hit! On with the show, this is it! Consider this - An insurer is defending its insured in a case that has both covered and uncovered claims. The insurer settles...

SNR Denton, US, LLP on Nease v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.: Liability Insurer May Have Duty to Hire Counsel to Advise Insured Whether to Give Statement to Claimant’s Counsel

By William T. Barker & Ronald D. Kent, Partners, SNR Denton In Nease v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., an excess insurance case, State Farm promptly tendered its $25,000 limits. The claimant's attorney requested a statement regarding other possible sources of recovery. The...

SNR Denton, US, LLP on Berg v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.: Pennsylvania Court Finds Amount Insurer Paid to Defend Coverage Case Admissible Evidence of Bad Faith

By William T. Barker & Ronald D. Kent, Partners, SNR Denton Berg v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. , 2012 PA SUPER 88, 2012 Pa. Super LEXIS 169, held that Nationwide could be held liable for bad faith in administering its auto damage direct repair program, in part based on violations of an...

DLA Piper: Even In the Absence of a Demand, Do Insurers Have Duty to Pursue Settlement? A Ninth Circuit Panel Says Yes

By Joseph G. Finnerty III and Aidan M. McCormack, Partners, DLA Piper Confounding most observers, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a decision contradicting established insurance law jurisprudence in nearly every state. In Du v. Allstate Insurance Company, the court...

Bad Faith in the Context of First-Party Insurance – New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition, Chapter 55

By William T. Barker, Partner, SNR Denton The insurer's duty of good faith, and the liabilities that flow from breach of that duty, play an important role in insurance law. The duty was first developed in the context of liability insurance to limit the insurer's discretion in exercising...

SNR Denton LLP on Lennar Corp. v. Transamerica Insurance Co.: Whither Bad Faith in Arizona?

By William T. Barker & Ronald D. Kent, Partners, SNR Denton This commentary examines a potentially pivotal court decision in the law of bad faith and its implications. The Arizona Court of Appeals in Lennar Corp. v. Transamerica Insurance Co. held that a later-reversed trial court summary judgment...

The New 2013 Publication Update of New Appleman Insurance Law Practice Guide Arrives in November

The 2013 Publication Update of New Appleman Insurance Law Practice Guide Features: • New Practice Commentary Throughout the Publication by Members of the Appleman Editorial Board • Revision of 10 Chapters • Case Updates Throughout the Publication • Completely Updated over...

SNR Denton US LLP on Does Pennsylvania Law Impose Liability for Bad Faith Without a Duty to Provide Coverage?

By William T. Barker & Ronald D. Kent, Partners, SNR Denton In Post v. St. Paul Travelers Insurance Co., 691 F.3d 500 (3d Cir. 2012), the Third Circuit, discussing a prior, nonprecedential Third Circuit case, Gallatin Fuels, Inc. v. Westchester Fire Ins. Co. , 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 19069 (3d Cir...

SNR Denton LLP on Pedicini v. Life Insurance Co. of Alabama: Insurer Acted in Bad Faith by Refusing To Recognize Ambiguity of Policy Language

By William T. Barker & Ronald D. Kent, Partners, SNR Denton In Pedicini v. Life Insurance Co. of Alabama, 682 F.3d 522 (6th Cir. 2012), the Sixth Circuit held that the relevant language in a medical insurance policy was ambiguous and further held that the insurer had acted in bad faith by refusing...

SNR Denton LLP on Jones v. Farmers Insurance Exchange: Whether Insurer's Position Is Fairly Debatable Not Always Susceptible to Summary Judgment

By William T. Barker, Partner, SNR Denton LLP In Jones v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, the Utah Supreme Court held that the district court had erred in granting summary judgment that the insurer's denial of coverage was "fairly debatable" and, thus, not bad faith. This reflects a trend...

SNR Denton on National Surety Corp. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co.: No Insurer Liability for Failure To Settle Absent Outrageous Conduct

By William T. Barker, Partner, SNR Denton LLP At one time, Kentucky held that an insurer would be liable to its insured for an excess judgment if the insurer's failure to settle exposed the insured to an unreasonable risk of such a judgment. Language in first-party bad faith cases suggests...

Bullivant Houser Bailey: Washington Supreme Court Announces New Presumption of No Attorney-Client Privilege for First-Party Insurers

By Daniel R. Bentson and Matthew J. Sekits In Washington bad faith actions, first-party insurers now face a presumption that the attorney-client privilege does not apply. In Cedell v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Wash., 2013 Wash. LEXIS 149 (Wash. Feb. 21, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers...

SNR Denton on Cedell v. Farmers Insurance Co.: Washington Limits Attorney-Client Privilege in First-Party Bad Faith Cases

By William T. Barker & Ronald D. Kent, Partners, SNR Denton In Cedell v. Farmers Insurance Co., the Washington Supreme Court held that, in a first-party bad faith claim (other than regarding a uninsured or underinsured motorist claim), the insurer's quasi-fiduciary duty of good faith and fair...

Bullivant Houser Bailey: Attorney-Client Privilege Analyzed by Idaho Federal Court in Insurance Company's Bad Faith Case

By Matthew E. Hedberg , Bullivant Houser Bailey PC In an opinion issued April 3, 2013, the Idaho federal district court held that when an attorney participates in the investigation of a claim and provides coverage advice, the facts gathered by the attorney may be discoverable in a bad faith lawsuit...

Maryland Defendants Can Recover Attorneys' Fees Paid by Insurance Company

by Robert A. Scott Litigants that have been forced to defend groundless litigation are entitled to recover their attorneys' fees even if those costs were paid by an insurance company, Maryland's highest court has ruled. In Worsham v. Greenfield [ enhanced version available to lexis.com...

The Eastern District of California Holds That A Carrier May Have An Affirmative Duty To Attempt to Settle A Claim Against The Insured When It Is Presented With A Reasonable Settlement Opportunity

Travelers Indem. of Conn. v. Arch Specialty Ins. Co. , 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169453 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 26, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] In Travelers , the district court concluded that the carrier must act in good faith in response to reasonable opportunities to settle...

California Court of Appeal Allows Insured to Sue Adjuster Personally for Negligent Misrepresentation and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

By Andrew B. Downs Even though California courts have consistently recognized that employees of insurance companies are not parties to the insurance contract, and thus they cannot be held personally liable for breach of contract or for "bad faith," this month's decision in Bock v...

Another Item For Your Checklist: The Bad Faith Concerns Related To Overreaching Proposed Releases

By David A. Mercer A common scenario: claimant's counsel issues a time limit demand for policy limits and the insurer decides to accept the demand and tender the limits. Once the decision is made to accept the demand, the insurer should go through its checklist of concerns to make sure that each...

The Importance of Proof of Mailing: If Premium Not Paid, Policy Cancelled

Insurance is, by definition, a contract whereby the insurer, for consideration, agrees to defend or indemnify another against a contingent or unknown risk. For an insurance policy to exist, therefore, the person insured must pay the premium (the consideration) charged by the insurer. States, like Florida...

Trial Court Finds Claim for Bad Faith May Survive a Motion to Dismiss Despite Failure to Properly Plead Claim for Breach of Contract

Mortazavi v. Federal Ins. Co. , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31555 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 11, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In Mortazavi , the district court found in favor of a carrier on its motion to dismiss the insureds’ claim for breach of contract, but found that the...

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Negligence of Adjuster Not Basis for Bad Faith

Insurance adjusters are people knowledgeable in insurance retained by an insurer for the purpose of assisting the insured in proving a loss to the insurer. A person who expresses to the insured the fidelity and good faith of the insurer. The adjuster is not expected nor required to be perfect. In Murphy...

Recent Developments in California Bad Faith Law and Related Trends

By Tyler Gerking On July 29, 2014, I spoke on a panel about recent developments in California bad faith law and related trends. My co-presenter was Robert K. Scott of The Law Offices of Robert K. Scott, and we gave the presentation at ACI’s 28th National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Claims &...

LexisNexis Author William T. Barker To Speak at 1st Annual Bad Faith Litigation Strategies ExecuSummit on "Recent Developments in Third-Party Bad Faith: The American Law Institute Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance."

On November 4, 2014, LexisNexis author William T. Barker will speak at the 1st Annual Bad Faith Litigation Strategies ExecuSummit on "Recent Developments in Third-Party Bad Faith: The American Law Institute Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance." Mr. Barker is the co-author, (with Ronald...

Is That Covered? Insurer Refusal to Pay for Full Property Loss May Be Bad Faith

By Michael R. Kelley If you or your clients have ever had the experience of submitting a claim to an insurance company, you probably know how difficult it can be to get the insurance company to pay the full amount of damages. Even if the company agrees that a loss is covered, insurers frequently...

5th Circuit Addresses Excess Insurer’s Bad Faith Claim Against Primary

Tapas: Small Dishes of Insurance Coverage News & Notes RSUI Indem. Co. v. American States Ins. Co., No. 14–30033 (5th Cir. Sept. 25, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], (addressing Louisiana law) (“We hold only that under the circumstances of this case...