No Liability Coverage for Vicariously Liable Punitive Damages in Florida

The Southern District of Florida issued a ruling favorable to insurers in interpreting whether punitive damages are insurable in Florida–even when awarded for vicariously liable acts.

The case, Ranger Constr. Indus., Inc. v. Allied World Nat’l Assurance Co., No. 17-81226-KAM (S.D. Fla. Dec. 23, 2019), was an insurance coverage dispute arising over an excess policy issued by Allied World to the plaintiff. The policyholder had been hired for a construction project involving building a highway, and various subcontractors were ultimately hired. One such subcontractor’s …

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Massachusetts Ruling Costs Plaintiff More Than $4 Million in Bad-Faith Litigation Lawsuit: Post-Judgment Interest Not a Factor in Punitive Damages Calculations

In Anderson et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh PA & Others, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that post-judgment interest should not be factored into a punitive damages calculation against an insurer when it was found to have acted willfully and egregiously by engaging in unfair trade practices and refusing to settle the underlying tort suit. In reversing the lower court’s grant of trebled post-judgment interest, the court left other parts of the verdicts undisturbed, ending a case that began …

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Lax Claims Handling Basis for Award of Emotional Distress and Punitive Damages

In K.N.T. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, 2015 Iowa App. LEXIS 576 (Iowa Ct. App. July 9, 2015), the Iowa Appellate Court addressed emotional distress arising out of the claims process and whether lax claims handling warranted awarding punitive damages.

Eleven-year-old K.N.T. was involved in a serious accident as a passenger in an all-terrain vehicle. She was in the hospital for twenty-three days and incurred approximately $250,000 in hospital expenses. K.N.T.’s mother filed an uninsured motorist claim.

A claims manager reviewed the claim …

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