Category archive: Bad Faith

Michigan Supreme Court: UTPA Penalty Interest Proper for Untimely UIM Benefit Payments

Summary: Insured injured in a car accident claimed underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits because the adverse driver was insufficiently insured. The insured asked the court to assess penalty interest under the Uniform Trade Practices Act (UTPA) for payments made far beyond the statutory deadline. The trial court and Court of Appeals refused  finding that penalty interest…

Iowa Supreme Court Ruling Provides Partial Relief to Comp Carrier

Summary: Toby Thornton filed a lawsuit against his employer’s insurer, American Interstate Insurance, alleging common law bad faith for denying his claim for permanent and total disability (PTD) and his request for partial commutation of benefits. The district court found that American Interstate acted in bad faith as a matter of law by opposing Thornton’s…

Homeowner’s Beware: Read Your Insurance Contract or Lose

Summary: Jack and Carolyn Brockway filed suit against Allstate after it denied coverage for losses plaintiffs suffered after a theft at their home. The plaintiffs filed claims immediately following the theft which Allstate denied more than two years later. The plaintiffs sought damages for breach of contract and for breach of the implied covenant of…

Ninth Circuit Finds California’s Genuine Dispute Doctrine Does Not Bar Bad Faith Judgment Against Excess

Summary: LMA North America, Inc. (LMA) sued National Union for breach of contract and bad faith after defendant refused to either contribute $3.75 million towards the settlement of counter-claims asserted by LMA’S competitor, Ambu, or take over the defense of the trade disparagement and false advertising claims. After settling the underlying claims above the $1M…

No Pay for Delay Today: Insurer’s Joint Check Satisfied Prompt Payment Statute

Summary: Property Gusma Properties owned and insured was damaged in Hurricane Ike. When the insurer demanded an appraisal, Gusma hired an attorney to assist. Following the appraisal award, the insurer tendered a check to the attorney for the full amount, all of which the attorney retained. Gusma sued the attorney and the insurer to recover…

Tennessee Fire Loss Victim’s Statutory Bad Faith Penalty Appropriately Awarded

Summary: Brandi Burge’s mobile home and all of its contents were destroyed by fire in July 2013 while insured by Farmers Mutual of Tennessee. Farmers Mutual paid an advance in August 2013, but denied the claim without disclosing why. Suit was filed one year later.  After 10 months of discovery Farmers Mutual declared (in discovery…

New Missouri Law Levels The Playing Field For Insurers

On April 26, 2017, the Missouri General Assembly passed a bill modifying certain statutory provisions relating to settlement of tort claims. The bill, known as HB 339 and HB 714, grants certain rights to insurers when a claimant and tortfeasor enter into a contract to limit recovery pursuant to R.S.Mo. § 537.065 and imposes new…

Excess Settlement Did Not Expose Massachusetts Excess Carrier to Contractual or EC Liability

Summary: Salvati’s husband died as a result of a work injury. Ms. Salvati sued several parties she believed responsible for her husband’s death. The parties in the underlying action and their primary carrier agreed at mediation to a $6,000,000 settlement. The primary carrier tendered its $1,000,000 in coverage, but the excess carrier (American Insurance Company…

No Independent Cause of Action for Stand Alone Regulatory Violations of Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act

Summary: Perez-Crisantos sustained injuries resulting in more than $50,000 in medical bills. After settling with the underinsured motorist (UIM) and collecting $10,000 in medical expenses and $400 in lost wages under the PIP coverage from State Farm, his insurer, he sought additional funds from State Farm, claims which eventually went to arbitration. The arbitrator largely…

USSC Outlines Inherent Authority Sanctions Test for Bad Faith Conduct

Summary: The Haeger family sued Goodyear alleging the failure of a Goodyear tire caused the family’s motor home to leave the road and flip over. After the case was settled and dismissed, the Haegers’ lawyers learned that Goodyear had withheld testing data. The Haegers then sought attorney’s fees and costs as sanctions for the discovery…

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