Bad-Faith is a One-Way Street in Kentucky, Sixth Circuit Holds

In State Auto Property & Casualty Insurance Co. v. Hargis, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7475 (6th Cir., May 6, 2015) the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, interpreting Kentucky law, refused to recognize an insurer’s reverse bad faith claim against a policyholder that intentionally set fire to the insured property in order to collect insurance proceeds. The insurer brought a declaratory action to declare the policy void. The policyholder asserted counterclaims for bad faith. The policyholder filed
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No Bad Faith Where Insurer’s Valuation of Claimant’s Injuries is in the Ballpark

In Hicks v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71985 (C.D. Cal. June 1, 2015), the district court held that Progressive did not breach the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing through its investigation of, and subsequent dispute of, plaintiff Chris Hicks’ damages in an arbitration of Hicks’ underinsured motorist claim. Hicks was a passenger in an automobile driven by his mother and insured by Progressive when, on August 12, 2006, the automobile was involved in
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Exceptional Circumstances are Required for Relief in a Claim for Bad Faith

In a favorable decision to insurers on the issue of bad faith, the New York Northern District was recently called upon to determine whether an insured under a Homeowner’s policy had stated a viable cause of action. In Ripka v. Safeco Ins., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67595 (N.D.N.Y May 26, 2015), the District Court made it clear that New York courts will not, except in very limited circumstances, award tort and punitive damages in addition to contract damages against insurers who deny claims.
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State-Created Insurance Entity Exempt from Florida’s First-Party Bad Faith Statute

In Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Perdido Sun Condominium Ass’n, the Florida Supreme Court was asked to decide “whether the Florida Legislature intended … [for] a state-created entity that provided property insurance to be liable for statutory first-party bad faith claims as an exception to its statutory immunity from suit.” After prevailing in a breach of contract action against Citizens, Perdido Sun sued Citizens for bad faith under Florida’s Section 624.155(1). Citizens sought to dismiss the bad faith complaint based
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Louisiana Supreme Court Expands Failure to Settle and Misrepresentation Claims Against Insurers

In Kelly v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 2015 La. LEXIS 697 (La. May 5, 2015), the Louisiana Supreme Court answered two critical questions regarding an insurer’s claim handling responsibilities. First, the court held that an insurer can be found liable for bad faith failure to settle, notwithstanding that the insurer never received a firm settlement offer. Second, the court held that an insurer can be found liable for misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts that are not related
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Trial Court Judge Erred in Requiring Insurer to Produce Claim Files in Bad Faith Lawsuit

The South Dakota Supreme Court found that an insurer did not waive its attorney-client privilege and, thus, was not required to produce 200 unredacted workers’ compensation claim files in a bad faith lawsuit. The Supreme Court found that the trial court judge erred in allowing the evidence in by not conducting an in camera inspection of the files before finding that the insurer had implicitly waived its attorney-client privilege regard its claim files. This case involved a policyholder that sued
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Policyholder’s Breach of Insurer Consent To Settle Clause Precludes Bad Faith Claim

In Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. v. XL Specialty Insurance Co., 2015 WL 1773620 (Ga. Apr. 20, 2015), XL had provided Piedmont an excess policy with limits of $10 million excess of $10 million. The policy provided that XL will only pay for a “loss” that the policyholder became “legally obligated to pay.” The policy required the insurer’s consent to settle a claim, although it stated that the insurer would not unreasonably withhold consent. Further, the policy contained a provision
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Wisconsin Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Insurer on Bad Faith Claims

In Norman-Nunnery v. Artisan & Truckers Casualty Co., No. 2013AP1465, 2015 Wisc. App. LEXIS 149, 2015 WL 789731 (Wis. Ct. App. Feb. 26, 2015), the Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment on a bad faith claim against an auto insurer. The plaintiff was involved in two car accidents approximately six months apart. After the second accident, the insurer deemed the automobile a total loss and paid the amount owed under the policy to the vehicle’s lienholder rather than the
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Arizona Appellate Court Refuses To Vitiate the Attorney-Client Privilege When Insurer Does Not Advance Defense Based on Advice of Counsel

In Everest Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Rea, 2015 Ariz. App. LEXIS 9 (Ariz. Ct. App. Jan. 15, 2015), an Arizona appellate court held that Everest Indemnity Insurance Company (“Everest”) had not waived its attorney-client privilege by admitting that it had settled a case in good faith after consulting with counsel. As background, Rudolfo Brothers Plastering and Western Agriculture Insurance Company (collectively “Rudolfo”) alleged that Everest committed bad faith by entering into a settlement agreement that exhausted the liability coverage of
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Insurer’s Reliance on Prior Unpublished Decision Sufficient To Defeat Bad Faith Claim

In Badiali v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group, 2015 WL 668206 (N.J. Feb. 18, 2015), the New Jersey Supreme Court found that an uninsured motorist carrier did not commit bad faith by acting in accordance with an unpublished decision from a case it previously litigated. The policyholder was involved in a car accident with an uninsured motorist. He filed an uninsured motorist claim with his employer’s insurer and his personal insurer. The matter was arbitrated, and the policyholder was awarded
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