Hawaiian High Court Allows an Excess Insurer to Equitably Subrogate a Bad Faith Claim

On a certified question from the Hawaiian federal district court, the Hawaiian Supreme Court allowed an excess insurer to sue a primary insurer for bad faith. The case, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., arose out of claims that the primary insurer failed to settle underlying claims within its policy limits. The excess insurer contended the primary insurer had multiple opportunities to settle an accidental death claim within the $1 million primary limits, and its failure to do …

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Eighth Circuit Confirms Focus on Global Settlement is Not Bad Faith

In Purscell v. Tico Insurance Co., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the insurer on a bad faith claim. The insured sued his motor vehicle carrier for alleged bad faith failure to settle third-party claims made against him following an automobile collision. The court held that the insurer did not breach the duty to act in good faith.

The case involved claims from multiple parties – two people who were injured and one who was …

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Presumption of No Bad Faith Upheld Where District Court Interpreted Exclusion Like the Insurer

In Global Management Enterprise, L.L.C. v. Commerce & Industry Insurance Co., the insurer provided workers’ compensation coverage to the plaintiff-employer. 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9179, *3 (5th Cir. June 2, 2015). The policy excluded employees eligible for benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), but, by endorsement, the policy extended to “street cleaning.” An employee injured while cleaning a beach sought to recover benefits. The insurer originally disclaimed based on the LHWCA exclusion and later denied that the employee was covered …

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State-Created Insurance Entity Exempt from Florida’s First-Party Bad Faith Statute

In Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Perdido Sun Condominium Ass’n, the Florida Supreme Court was asked to decide “whether the Florida Legislature intended … [for] a state-created entity that provided property insurance to be liable for statutory first-party bad faith claims as an exception to its statutory immunity from suit.” After prevailing in a breach of contract action against Citizens, Perdido Sun sued Citizens for bad faith under Florida’s Section 624.155(1). Citizens sought to dismiss the bad faith complaint based upon its statutory immunity. …

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Breach of Reinsurance Contract and Bad Faith Claims Survive Dismissal, District Court Rules

In Old Republic National Title Insurance Co. v. First American Title Insurance Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44693, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida refused to dismiss portions of a cedent’s breach of contract claim, bad faith claim, and demand for declaratory judgment against a reinsurer. The reinsurance dispute arose when a cedent negotiated a $41 million settlement with the underlying insured, and the reinsurer paid its portion of the claim under a reservation of rights. After making its payment, …

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Second Circuit Finds No Coverage Based on Late Notice Issue To a Reinsurer

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling that late notice, alone, was sufficient to defeat a cedent’s claim. In Granite State Insurance Co. v. Clearwater Insurance Co., No, 14-1494-cv, 2015 WL 1474605 (2d Cir. Apr. 2, 2015), the court was forced to determine whether Illinois law on late notice to a reinsurer was settled, or if it should instead apply New York’s prejudice requirement.

Granite State Insurance Company, the cedent, settled a large number of asbestos-related personal …

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1st Circuit is “Honorably Engaged” by Reinsurance Arbitration Award

In First State Insurance Co. v. National Casualty Co., No. 14-1644, 2015 WL 1263147 (1st Cir. Mar. 20, 2015) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit addressed a motion to vacate an arbitration award related to multiple reinsurance and retrocessional agreements. The decision was the court’s first to address the operation and effect of a so-called “honorable engagement” provision in an arbitration clause.

The case arose out of multiple agreements between First State Insurance Company and New England Reinsurance Corporation (collectively “First State”) …

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Wisconsin Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Insurer on Bad Faith Claims

In Norman-Nunnery v. Artisan & Truckers Casualty Co., No. 2013AP1465, 2015 Wisc. App. LEXIS 149, 2015 WL 789731 (Wis. Ct. App. Feb. 26, 2015), the Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment on a bad faith claim against an auto insurer. The plaintiff was involved in two car accidents approximately six months apart. After the second accident, the insurer deemed the automobile a total loss and paid the amount owed under the policy to the vehicle’s lienholder rather than the insured or the collision …

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South Carolina Supreme Court: Medical Malpractice Statute of Repose Bars Claims for Equitable Indemnity

In Columbia/CSA-HS Greater Columbia Healthcare Sys., LP v. S. Carolina Med. Malpractice Liab. Joint Underwriting Ass’n, 2015 WL 249536 (S.C. Jan. 21, 2015), the Supreme Court of South Carolina affirmed two lower courts’ constructions of the medical malpractice statute of repose and barred a hospital from seeking indemnification from an ER doctor who misdiagnosed a patient, despite a strong dissent by two justices, including Chief Justice Toal.

In May of 1997, patient Arthur Sharpe sought medical treatment in Providence Hospital’s emergency room for chest …

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Third Circuit Affirms Denial of Reinsurance Contract Rescission

Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. (“Munich”) provided reinsurance coverage to Everest National Insurance Co. (“Everest”) on workers compensation claims.  Munich then sought reinsurance coverage for its own liability and did so from Continental Casualty Insurance Co. (“Continental”).  Eventually, the independent underwriter that represented Continental in the deal informed Munich that it no longer underwrote coverage for Continental.  At that time, the underwriter suggested replacing Continental with American National Insurance Company (“ANICO”).  Munich gave the underwriter the same files Munich received from Everest, but did not provide …

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