Court Rules Insurers Cannot Hide Behind Biased Expert Consultants to Dispose of Bad Faith Claims

Insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to the persons they insure. This duty is often referred to as the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing” which automatically exists by law in every insurance contract. They often defend “bad faith” litigation by invoking a what is known as the …

Read moreCourt Rules Insurers Cannot Hide Behind Biased Expert Consultants to Dispose of Bad Faith Claims

Ninth Circuit Affirms $2.5 Million Punitive Damages Award Against Disability Insurer in Arizona Bad Faith Case

When insurance companies, including those offering disability, life, health or accidental death policies, engage in conduct that is sufficiently egregious, a court may award punitive damages against the insurance company.  Under Arizona law, to support an award of punitive damages in an insurance bad faith case, the plaintiff must prove a willful and knowing failure …

Read moreNinth Circuit Affirms $2.5 Million Punitive Damages Award Against Disability Insurer in Arizona Bad Faith Case

Court Finds Regional Claims Administrator Qualifies as a “Managing Agent” of an Insurance Company, Justifying an Award of Punitive Damages

When insurance companies, including those offering disability, life, health or accidental death policies, engage in conduct that is sufficiently egregious, a court may award punitive damages against the insurance company.  California Civil Code Section 3294 (“Section 3294”) provides that where the defendant is guilty of oppression, fraud or malice, the plaintiff may recover punitive damages …

Read moreCourt Finds Regional Claims Administrator Qualifies as a “Managing Agent” of an Insurance Company, Justifying an Award of Punitive Damages

California Court Affirms Decision Finding Bad Faith Where Insurer Interprets Policy Against Insured’s Interests

On August 31, 2017, the California Court of Appeal discussed a variety of topics touching upon important matters in insurance “bad faith” litigation in Pulte Home Corp. v. Am. Safety Indemnity Co., 14 Cal.App.5th 1086 (Aug. 31, 2017). In this blog, we discuss the case in detail as well as the potential benefits the opinion …

Read moreCalifornia Court Affirms Decision Finding Bad Faith Where Insurer Interprets Policy Against Insured’s Interests

Have “Quack” Medical Reviewers Caused Denial of Your Long-Term Disability Claim? California Court of Appeal Berates Insurance Company for Controlling Medical Peer Reviews

During their Presidential election campaigns, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spotlighted for America flaws in our criminal justice system.  They raised questions about whether the criminal probe into Ms. Clinton’s private email server was handled honestly or politically.  Conservatives bitterly complained that FBI director Jim Comey’s recommendation not to prosecute Ms. Clinton was inconsistent with …

Read moreHave “Quack” Medical Reviewers Caused Denial of Your Long-Term Disability Claim? California Court of Appeal Berates Insurance Company for Controlling Medical Peer Reviews

Recent Juror Attitudes Should Frighten Insurance Companies

Recent verdicts from across the nation in disability, life and health insurance policy cases must be alarming for big corporate insurance companies.  The trend is for jurors to award individual plaintiffs astronomical punitive damage verdicts, showing their general disdain for insurance companies and tendency to empathize with policyholders, particularly where a person’s health is at …

Read moreRecent Juror Attitudes Should Frighten Insurance Companies

California Court of Appeal Finds That a 10:1 Ratio Between Punitive Damages and Compensatory Damages Awards Satisfies Due Process

A 10-to-1 ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages awards in an insurance bad faith case passes Constitutional muster.  So says the California Court of Appeal in its decision in Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance Company, __ Cal. App. 4th ___, 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 583 (2013).  The decision is significant in that it affirms …

Read moreCalifornia Court of Appeal Finds That a 10:1 Ratio Between Punitive Damages and Compensatory Damages Awards Satisfies Due Process

Court Approval is Not Needed to Assert a Punitive Damages Claim Against a Health Care Service Plan

In a victory for health insurance policy holders over health insurers/health care service plans, in Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc, v. Superior Court (Rahm, et al, Real Parties), 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 138 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. Feb. 15, 2012), the Court of Appeals ruled that a plaintiff does not need to obtain approval from …

Read moreCourt Approval is Not Needed to Assert a Punitive Damages Claim Against a Health Care Service Plan

California Courts Rule Punitive Damages Award of 16 to 1 Ratio Not Unconstitutionally Excessive.

In a somewhat surprising recent decision, the California Court of Appeal upheld a punitive damages award that carried a ratio of more than 16 to 1 based on the compensatory damages awarded by the jury.  The ruling was surprising considering the United States Supreme Courts’ recent holding that “grossly excessive” punitive damages awards offend due …

Read moreCalifornia Courts Rule Punitive Damages Award of 16 to 1 Ratio Not Unconstitutionally Excessive.

Insurers Cannot Escape Bad Faith Liability By Relying On In-House Experts And The “Genuine Dispute Doctrine”

Insurers often wrongfully deny policy benefits to their insureds in situations where there may be some uncertainty as to coverage.  Despite an overarching duty to act reasonably and find in favor of coverage in such situations, insurers often will deny coverage and rely on their in-house medical experts’ (i.e., nurses, doctors) analysis and opinions as …

Read moreInsurers Cannot Escape Bad Faith Liability By Relying On In-House Experts And The “Genuine Dispute Doctrine”

Get the Answers and Assistance You Need

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
McKennon Law Group Logo

Address: 20321 SW Birch St. Suite 200
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Phone: 800-682-4137

We also have offices in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

mckennon-map