Monthly Archives: April 2014

Coverage Opinions Remain Privileged in Bad Faith Action Even Where Gist of Recommendation is Set Forth in Letter to Insured

As a matter of first impression, the Supreme Court of West Virginia recently held that coverage opinion letters were protected by the attorney-client privilege even though the insurer subsequently sent correspondence to its insured that included the recommendation of coverage counsel.  State of West Virginia ex Rel Montpelier U.S. Ins. Co., No. 13-1172, 2014 WL 1408487 (W. Va. Apr. 10, 2014).  The Court conducted an in camera examination of the documents the insurer claimed were privileged. The insured argued that because the insurer disclosed the recommendation of the coverage opinion letters to the insureds, the attorney-client privileged was waived.  The insureds relied on the third-party disclosure exception to the attorney-client privilege.  The Court surveyed cases nationwide and found no authority

Posted in Attorney-Client, Bad Faith, West Virginia Insurance
Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith
Cozen O’Connor represents insurance clients in jurisdictions throughout the U.S. against statutory and common law first- and third-party extracontractual claims for actual and consequential damages, penalties, punitive and exemplary damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and coverage payments. Whether bad faith claims are addenda to a broader coverage matter or are central to the complaint, Cozen O’Connor attorneys know how to efficiently respond to extracontractual causes of action. More
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