Date archive: January 2017

Release Inflexibility Leads to Multi-Million Dollar Stipulated Judgment and Bad Faith Liability

Summary: Mercury Casualty provided auto liability insurance coverage with limits of $15,000/$30,000 to insured driver McDaniel who, while intoxicated, ran into and seriously injured two pedestrians. Mercury investigated, offered its policy limits, and allowed the claimants’ attorney to investigate McDaniel’s assets, but balked at language plaintiffs’ attorney added to the release to account for “court-ordered…

Motorcyclist Decedent Not Covered on Commercial Policy, So No Bad Faith

Summary: The Netherlands Insurance Company provided insurance coverage to three corporate entities for which David Edens was the Chief Executive Officer. David and Rhonda Edens were the parents of Zachery who was a motorcyclist killed when an oncoming car turned into his path. The Oklahoma U.S. District Court found there was no UIM/UM coverage, found…

Cabin Crushed, Claim Properly Denied, No Montana Unfair Trade Practices Act Exposure

Summary: Parker’s cabin was damaged when a boulder came down a hillside and crashed into it. The trial court found the earth movement exclusion applied, found there was no coverage, and denied Parker’s Unfair Trade Practices Act (UTPA) claim. The Supreme Court of Montana affirmed. Parker v. Safeco Insurance Company of America The Supreme Court…

No Ambiguity, No Problem, No Statutory Bad Faith

Summary: American Family insured William and Joyce Davis, Jennifer Hansen’s parents, and named the Davises on the declarations sheet. Hansen was injured in an auto accident, settled her claim, and presented an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim to American Family. American Family denied coverage and Hansen filed claims for breach of contract, common law bad faith,…

No Act of God Here; Massachusetts’ Appeals Court Awards EC Damages to Claimants for Insurer’s Failure to Properly Investigate and Timely Settle

Summary: Insured’s judgment creditors brought action against liability insurer to recover for unfair insurance settlement practices in connection with claim for damage to plants from salt water drawn from well drilled by insured. The trial court, after a six-day bench trial, entered judgment in favor of creditors and awarded attorney fees and expenses. Parties filed…

In a Missouri “Traditional Garnishment,” Recovery Limited to Policy Limits Absent Bad Faith

Summary: In a traditional garnishment case against the liability insurer, the Missouri Supreme Court held recovery against the insurer was limited to the policy limits. The court held absent a finding of bad faith by the insurer, no extra-contractual damages were awardable. Allen v. Bryers Plaintiff Allen was rendered paraplegic when the handgun of security…

Missouri Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act Created No Rights For Fire Loss Caused By Suicidal Insured

Summary: American Modern insured James and Ruth Roller when Mr. Roller set fire to the garage in a failed suicide attempt. American Modern investigated the loss, denied their claim, and then the Rollers filed a declaratory judgment action. The trial court denied coverage which the appellate court affirmed on all grounds. Roller v. American Modern…

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