Bad Faith/Extra Contractual Liability
Bad faith claims jeopardize a company’s integrity and put its business at risk. Our Insurance Law attorneys understand the intricacy of bad faith matters and work hard to defend against those claims. Our Insurance law team has been recognized for successfully litigating bad faith claims in state and federal courts and knows what it takes to protect you.
Insurance Services Include:
- Insurance Coverage Analysis
- Insurance Coverage Litigation
- First Party Extra-Contractual Litigation, including claims for bad faith and unfair and deceptive trade practices
- Assisting With Special Investigation Unit (SIU) Investigation
- Conducting Examinations Under Oath (EUO)
- Defending Errors & Omissions Of Insurance Agents
- As lead counsel, obtained summary judgment representing a CGL insurer in a dispute with another insurer regarding which policy was triggered to cover a large property loss caused by defective work by the insured of both companies. Other insurer appealed to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Prepared appellate brief ultimately leading to published opinion affirming the grant of summary judgment. Opinion clarifies the “trigger” caselaw in North Carolina analyzing which CGL policy provides coverage for damage resulting from the defective work of an insured. Alliance Mutual Insurance Company v. Guilford Insurance Company, 711 S.E.2d 207, 2011 WL 883528
- As lead counsel for national insurer, obtained summary judgment in federal court on case asserting claims for breach of contract, bad faith and unfair and deceptive trade practices arising from insurer’s denial of a total fire loss. Insurer’s Special Investigative Unit had investigated fire loss and concluded that the insured had participated in setting the fire. The insured filed suit in North Carolina state court and we removed the suit to federal court. Following discovery and extensive briefing, the federal district court granted summary judgment on all claims. Fulbright v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, 2009 WL 2849748 (W.D.N.C.) and Lanier v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, 2009 WL 926914 (W.D.N.C.)
- As lead counsel for national insurer, obtained a written opinion from a federal district court dismissing the insured’s suit at the preliminary 12(b)(6) level. The lawsuit asserted claims for breach of contract, bad faith and unfair and deceptive trade practices following the arbitration of an UIM claim. The insurer contended prior to the underlying arbitration that the plaintiff’s medical treatment was not medically necessary and therefore did not make any offers to plaintiff prior the arbitration. The arbitration panel returned an award which exceeded all available UIM coverage, and following that award, the plaintiff filed suit in North Carolina state court. Following removal to federal court, we moved to dismiss the entire complaint on the grounds it failed, as a matter of law, to state a claim against the insurer. Bendrick v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 2012 WL 1247178 (W.D.N.C.)
- Successfully defended workers’ compensation insurance carrier at the Court of Appeals involving a policy written for an insured which financed payment with a financing company, and then failed to make payments. Finance company cancelled the policy, and Carrier denied coverage based upon the cancellation. The Court held the cancellation notice from a finance company pursuant to a power of attorney clause constitutes written notice from the insured, cancelling the workers’ compensation policy upon receipt. Carrier rightfully denied coverage. Diaz v. Smith, COA10-694-2 (N.C. App. Ct. April 3, 2012)
- Successfully defended workers’ compensation insurance carrier at the Court of Appeals involving cancellation or workers’ compensation policy. Insured made an initial premium deposit of 50% of the estimated annual premium at the effective date of the policy as required. Insured then owed the remaining premium in installment payments, but failed to make payment. The Court of Appeals held that Insured’s policy was subject to cancellation due to the non-payment of premium in accordance with the terms of the policy. Bell v. Hype Manufacturing, 705 S.E.2d 926 (2011).
- Successfully defended claim that plaintiff was entitled to recover under its business owners’ insurance policy for a major fire loss. The North Carolina Court of Appeals held that there was no coverage under either the “Business Personal Property “ provision or under the “Personal Property Off Premises” provision of the policy.
- Successfully defended claim that plaintiffs were entitled to recover under their Personal Auto Policy for damages sustained to their vehicle in a single vehicle accident. The North Carolina Court of Appeals held that plaintiffs had not notified defendant insurer of their purchase of a new vehicle within 30 days after they had become owners of the vehicle, as required by the policy. The main issue in the case was when plaintiffs became “owners” of the vehicle.
- Successfully defended claims for breach of contract and unfair and deceptive trade practices because of non-payment of certain claims under a homeowners policy. One of the main issues in the case was whether there was oral reformation of the policy.
- Successfully prosecuted declaratory judgment action in which insurer contended there was no coverage for its named insured under a homeowners policy for injuries suffered by the named insured’s spouse in an altercation with the named insured.
As lead counsel, successfully defended insurance agent against a breach of fiduciary duty claim, obtaining directed verdict after plaintiff’s evidence. Case was tried to a jury in North Carolina Superior Court.