Topic: Extra-Contractual Liability

California Appellate Court Issues Bad Faith Duty to Settle Opinion

On October 7, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, held that a liability insurer, in the absence of any demand or settlement offer from a third party claimant, need not initiate settlement negotiations or offer its policy limits, even where liability is clear and there is a substantial likelihood that the third party claimant’s recovery will exceed policy limits. 

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Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms Insurer’s Liability For Tort-Related Litigation Expenses In Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Case

On Friday, the Massachusetts Appeals Court handed down its decision in Rivera v. Commerce Insurance Company, No. 12-P-483 (Aug. 16, 2013). The insurance industry should take note of this unfair claim settlement practices case because the court determined that Commerce Insurance Company was liable for the plaintiffs’ tort-related litigation expenses following what was determined to be a bad-faith and unreasonable settlement offer, and proceeded to note precisely what constituted “tort-related litigation expenses.” A copy of the decision is available through the court’s website

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Live Blog: DRI Insurance Bad Faith & Extra Contractual Liability Conference (Boston): Friday Morning Panel

The DRI Bad Faith conference resumed on Friday with a presentation by Anthony Zelle of Zelle, McDonough & Cohen and Anne Kevlin of the Beazley Group. The panel observed that successful resolution of a bad-faith claim is a team effort, from in-house counsel, to the claims professionals, to defense counsel. 

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Live Blog: DRI Insurance Bad Faith & Extra Contractual Liability Conference (Boston): Thursday Afternoon Panel

The Thursday afternoon panel opened with a presentation by David White of Breakstone, White & Gluck PC, who presented the view of bad faith litigation from the perspective of the policyholders’ counsel. Mr. White offered insight into how insurers can avoid bad faith litigation, including best practices at all levels of the claims handling process. 

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Live Blog: DRI Insurance Bad Faith & Extra Contractual Liability Conference (Boston): Thursday Morning Panel

The Thursday morning panel provided insightful commentary on effective strategies for defending bad faith claims, including development of defense strategy and trial tactics that are effective with juries. The panel stressed the importance of developing a case “theme” that will resonate with the jury. 

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Court Denies Insurer’s Motion to Bifurcate Breach of Contract and Bad Faith Claims

In Osbourne Renfrow v. Redwood Fire and Casualty Ins. Co., et al., 288 F.R.D. 514 (D. Nev. 2013), the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada recently denied an insurer’s motion to bifurcate breach of contract and bad faith claims into two separate proceedings. The court ruling arose out of an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim involving Plaintiff Osbourne Renfrow, who was involved in an accident with an underinsured motorist, causing injuries to Renfrow’s neck, back and shoulders. 

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