Category archive: Louisiana

Insurer Must Know When It Owes (or Say Why It Shouldn’t)

Summary: An insurer is required to know the law, and to fulfill any obligations that would exist even in its “least coverage” scenario. The Louisiana Court of Appeal found an insurer committed bad faith by failing to pay a statutorily-mandated amount despite pending litigation involving the matter that could result in reimbursement in excess of…

Louisiana Plaintiff Not Permitted to Bring a Bad Faith Failure to-Settle Suit Because of Lack of Proper Assignment

Summary: Dana Johno brought a suit against Leon Duplessis & Sons, Inc. (“Duplessis”) alleging it demolished his home without consent following Hurricane Katrina. Johno also named as parties to the suit Duplessis’s two subcontractors (Hard Rock Construction and Pro Tree Services), its insurer (Scottsdale Insurance Company) and the local parish government which hired Duplessis. Dana…

Equitably Estopped from Denying Coverage but Not Liable for Bad Faith

Summary: Insureds appealed the ruling that their insurer Automobile Club Inter-Insurance Exchange did not act in bad faith in denying their property damages claim. They argued the insurer should have accepted a late premium payment, as it had done in the past, so that the policy did not lapse. The Louisiana Court of Appeals affirmed…

Failing to Pay as Required by Statute Leads to Jury Trial for Plaintiff

Summary: Insurer failed to timely pay on Med Pay coverage as required by statute. Plaintiff entitled to jury trial on her claim for emotional distress and costs of bringing suit against insurer. Marie Chery v Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company, 2011 WL 2348275 (Mass.App.Ct.) The plaintiff was injured in an auto accident and incurred…

Insurer Wins! Supreme Court of Louisiana Rules that Hurricane Katrina Property Damage Claimants, Can’t Get No Class Action Satisfaction (For Statutory Bad Faith or on Other Claims)

Summary:  The fact intensive nature of bad faith/extra-contractual damages claims make them unsuitable for class action treatment. Dupree v. Lafayette Insurance Co. 51 So.3d 673, 2009-2602 (La. 11/30/10) Natural disasters spawn death and destruction along with pain and agony as demonstrated by the recent Japanese and New Zealand earthquakes and tsunamis.  Hurricane Katrina was no…

Louisiana Court Tells Insurers to Err on the Side of Depositing Policy Limit into Court Registry to Avoid Statutory Penalties

Summary:  An uninsured motorist insurer’s failure to deposit the undisputed part of the policy limits into the court registry was found to be arbitrary and capricious thereby entitling the insured to statutory penalties and attorney’s fees. Jones v. Johnson, 56 So.3d 1016 (La. App. 2010) The insureds, Thomas Jones and his wife Mary, were involved…

Louisiana Insurers Who Are Wrong, but Reasonably Wrong, Can Avoid Statutory Penalties, Attorney’s Fees, and Costs

Summary:  Lafayette Insurance Company underpaid Ullah’s looting loss claim by over $400,000, but its $40,000 payment of the undisputed amount due was timely and made with good reason.  Accordingly, the trial court’s failure to assess statutory penalties, attorney’s fees, and costs was deemed proper. Ullah, Inc. v. Lafayette Insurance Company, 54 So.3d 1193, 2009-1566 (La.App….

Insurer’s Good Faith Policy Defense Defeats Insured’s Statutory Penalty Claim (Even When Insurer’s Policy Limitation Violates Louisiana Public Policy)

Summary:  The Louisiana Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s claim for future medical expenses and future loss of income precluding the assessment of statutory penalties even though its policy restrictions violated Louisiana’s “Economic Only Uninsured Motorist” (EOUM) coverage statute. Hoagboon v. Cannon, 54 So. 3d 802, 2010-0909 (La. App. 1 Cir. 12/29/10)…

Adjustment of Claims Did Not Cause Mental Anguish: Fifth Circuit Affirms District Court in Hurricane Katrina Claim

Summary:  Fifth Circuit finds there was no evidence to support insureds’ claim for extra-contractual statutory penalties based on mental anguish and lost wages.  Also, Fifth Circuit finds insurer acted in good faith and timely in adjusting insureds’ contents damage claim. French v. Allstate Indemnity,  Co.2011WL1228281 Homeowner insureds French and Sutter sued Allstate to recover additional…

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