Monthly Archives: May 2015

Alabama’s High Court: No Contract Means No Bad Faith

In many states, pleading and proving the existence of a valid contract is necessary for both a breach of contract cause of action and also for a viable bad faith claim, and the Alabama Supreme Court addressed exactly that issue last year in Alfa Life Ins. Corp. v. Kolza 159 So.3d 1240 (Ala., Aug. 22, 2014). The case involved a life insurance claim.  The plaintiff’s decedent had applied for a policy and filled out an application that misstated his driving record.  He then received a “Conditional Receipt” that afforded $100,000 in coverage while the application was pending.  He was subsequently given a medical examination that disclosed high cholesterol levels and a family history of heart disease.  He died in an

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Sixth Circuit Refuses to Create a Cause of Action for Reverse Bad Faith

In an opinion handed down last week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to adopt a new cause of action under Kentucky law for a reverse bad faith claim by an insurer against its insured where the Kentucky Supreme Court had not previously done so in State Auto Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Hargis, — F.3d –, 2015 WL 2081922, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7475 (6th Cir., May 6, 2015).  The Sixth Circuit further refused to certify the question to the Kentucky Supreme Court for review.  Slip Op. at *4-5. At issue in this case was a fire loss sustained to the insured’s, Lori Hargis, residential home.  State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Company (“Insurer”) insured the home. 

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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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