Washington State Supreme Court Holds That Insurance Adjusters Cannot Be Liable for Bad Faith

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court of Washington closed the door on statutory bad faith claims against insurer-employed adjusters. The case is Moun Keodalah and Aung Keodala v. Allstate Insurance Company, Tracey Smith., and John Doe Smith, — P.3d – (2019, 2019 WL 4877438 (Wash. Oct. 3, 2019).

The case arose out of a 2007 accident, when an uninsured motorcyclist struck the plaintiff’s truck, killing the motorcyclist and injuring the plaintiff. The police investigated the collision and determined the motorcyclist had …

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No Privilege for Communications Between Insurance Adjuster and In-House Counsel

Courts around the country continue to refine the scope of the attorney-client privilege and the attorney work-product doctrine in the context of communications between an insurance company adjuster and the insurer’s in-house counsel. Recently, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado held that a claims adjuster’s emails, claim notes, and interoffice memoranda are not privileged, even though they involved the carrier’s in-house attorney. Olsen v. Owners Ins. Co., No. 18-CV-1665-RM-NYW, 2019 WL 2502201 (D. Colo. June 17, 2019)

In Olsen, …

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Seventh Circuit Holds Insurance Adjusters Owe No Legal Duty to the Insured

In Lodholtz v. York Risk Services Group, Inc. (Feb. 11, 2015), the Seventh Circuit afforded liability protection to outside claims adjusters by holding that they owe no legal duty to the insured. As background, York Risk Services Group, Inc. (“York”) was an insurance adjuster retained by Granite State Insurance Company (“Granite”), the insurer of Pulliam Enterprises, Inc. (“Pulliam”). Robert Lodholtz, the plaintiff, sustained injuries in a factory belonging to Pulliam and subsequently sued Pulliam. There was some confusion with regard to whether Granite would provide …

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