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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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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Florida Supreme Court Answers Certified Questions from Eleventh Circuit In Anticipated Hurricane Related Bad Faith Opinion

On May 31, 2012, in an anticipated opinion, the Florida Supreme Court resolved five certified questions from the United States Court Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in a case styled Chalfonte Condominium Apartment Association, Inc. v. QBE Insurance Corporation, Case. No. SC09-441.  The case involves Hurricane Wilma damage sustained to Boca Raton, Florida condominium property owned by the insured. 

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