The nation’s premier blog focused exclusively on claims of bad faith and extra contractual damages, the Bad Faith Blog discusses current issues and highlights best practices in an increasingly complex area of law.

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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…

Allstate Faces Difficult Illinois Discovery Rulings

Summary: Allstate insured Valentine and Christina Zagorski’s home suffered a fire loss. Allstate’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) assisted with the investigation of what was ultimately concluded to be an arson fire. Allstate’s retained counsel took an Examination Under Oath (EUO), and otherwise assisted with the claims handling before the claim was denied. After the denial,…

Fairly Debatable Policy Term Precluded Bad Faith Liability

Summary: A homeowner’s insurer brought an action against the insured for declaratory judgment that liability coverage was barred by an exclusion for bodily injury resulting from use of a “jet ski.” The insured counterclaimed alleging bad faith. The trial court found for the insurer on the bad faith claim after a first appeal found coverage…

UPDATE: Proper Brandt Fees Usage to Calculate Punitive Damages in California Bad Faith Cases

Our post regarding the Supreme Court of California’s June 2016 ruling appeared in September. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded to the Court of Appeal which ruled on November 3, 2016. Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Co. The Court of Appeal, consistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling, included the stipulated $12,500 Brandt fees in the…

Pennsylvania Bad Faith Claim Subsumed Within Breach of Contract Claim

Summary: Dismissal of the mortgagor’s claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing was affirmed on appeal. Under Pennsylvania law, there is no cognizable claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing separate from a breach of contract claim. Davis v. Wells Fargo On January…

Washington Jury Verdict Finding Title Insurer Did Not Act in Bad Faith Affirmed

Summary: Plaintiff sued title insurer upon learning of burdensome recorded easement after purchase of property. Plaintiff sought recovery for breach of contract as well as under the Consumer Protection Act, The Insurance Fair Conduct Act, negligence, and breach of the duty of good faith. Prior to filing suit, Plaintiff sought $125,000 based on diminution in…

Colorado Medical Marijuana Facility Gets Burgled, Smoked & Mixed Bad Faith Results

Summary: Green Earth, the operator of a Colorado Springs retail medical marijuana business and growing facility submitted a claim to its insurer for a wildfire-caused smoke and ash damage and a separate break in and theft. Atain denied the claims on multiple grounds which caused Green Earth to sue Atain for breach of contract and…

Insurer Required to Defend California Unfair Business Practices Suit

Summary: Landy Insurance Agency is a broker selling insurance to real estate professionals. Landy purchased a professional liability insurance policy from Utica Mutual Insurance Company. Utica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Herbert H. Landy Ins. Agency, Inc. Landy’s  targeted market included California. In California Landy sold policies from surplus insurers. One of Landy’s competitors in the…

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.
This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. © 2014 Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. All Rights Reserved.

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