Date archive: September 2014

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Allows Bad Faith Claims to Proceed Under West Virginia Law Over Ohio Law

Summary: The insured, Morlan Enterprises (Morlan), brought an action against Owners Insurance Company (Owners) alleging bad faith and a violation of the Unfair Trade Practices Act (UTPA). In response, Owners sought a writ of prohibition seeking to prevent the Circuit Court from exercising jurisdiction over Owners, from applying West Virginia substantive law rather than Ohio…

Lewellen v. Franklin: Missouri Supreme Court Holds Statutory Cap on Punitive Damages Unconstitutional

On September 9, 2014, the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously struck down the State’s punitive damage cap in Lewellen v. Franklin, 2014 WL 4425202 (Mo. banc Sept. 9, 2014). The plaintiff in Lewellen was a 77-year-old widow with less than $1,000 of monthly income who contracted to purchase a vehicle with National Auto Sales North’s (“National”)…

$2.5 Million EC Judgment Results from Findings of Sub-Standard Claims Handling

Summary:  Bryan Blann and Garry Reed were involved in a double fatality motor vehicle accident. Reed was insured by American Standard Insurance with whom Blann’s widow, attempted to settle after the accident. When that failed, she took a judgment against Reed’s estate for over $2.5 million while agreeing not to execute judgment against the estate…

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