News and Articles

Insurance, Risk Management and Title Insurance

16


Mar

Beware: In a Settlement Silence on Fees is Not Golden

 

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21


Aug

Greedy Cumis Counsel Who Pad Their Bills Beware

HARTFORD CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY v. J.R. MARKETING, L.L.C., et al., (Aug. 10, 2015) 190 Cal.Rptr.3d 599, 2015 WL 4716917 

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18


Sep

Tribute to Joseph M. Giden, Esq.

Joseph M. Giden, Esq. 

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23


Apr

AIG Penalized for Bad Faith Practices

By Michael B. Geibel, Esq.

With facts shockingly reminiscent of egregious conduct criticized thirty years ago in Betts v. Allstate Ins. Co. (1984) 154 Cal.App.3d 688, a court in Massachusetts recently excoriated AIG Claims Services, Inc. for its bad faith handling of a personal injury lawsuit by finding that AIG hired defense counsel to fabricate a version of the accident that did not happen, improperly coached witnesses to support that version, suppressed recorded statements from the same witnesses which contradicted the version offered at trial, and then filed a meritless appeal. See, Odin Anderson v. American International Group, Inc., Superior Court Civil Action No. 2003-01212-B. After a subsequent trial under Massachusetts statutes providing remedies for unfair and deceptive claims settlement practices, the court applied the maximum sanction of double damages.

Of particular interest to counsel having been exposed to a rather common negotiation tactic of AIG, footnote 17 of the Odin decision notes that AIG’s representative at settlement conferences claimed that AIG “internal protocols” required that any cash settlement payment be delayed “by at least 90 days.” Put on the stand, AIG’s executive vice president admitted that AIG had no such internal protocol.

Unlike the Massachusetts statute, the California “Unfair Insurance Practices Act” set forth in Insurance Code § 790 et seq. does not provide for a direct action against an insurer after the decision in Moradi-Shalal v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Cos. (1988) 46 Cal.3d 287. However, in Yanting Zhang v. Superior Court (2013) 57 Cal.4th 364 the Supreme Court held that Moradi-Shalal does not preclude first party UCL actions (“Unfair Competition Law,” Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et. seq.) that are based on grounds independent from section 790.03 of the Unfair Insurance Practices Act, even when the insurer's conduct also violates Insurance Code 790.03.

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22


Aug

California Case Law Update

JOHN CORENBAUM v. DWIGHT LAMPKIN
Court of Appeal Case # B236227
FILED: 4/30/13

May 7, 2013
California Court of Appeal in Corenbaum v Lampkin extends application of Hanif limitations to limit the admissibility of the full amount billed by a medical provider when a lesser amount is accepted as payment in full. 

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18


Aug

California Insurance Case Law Update

California Supreme Court Affirms Injured Plaintiffs are Limited to the Lesser Amount Accepted by Medical Providers

The California Supreme Court published a definitive ruling in Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. which focused on the issue of whether an injured plaintiff can recover the “face” amount of a medical bill, or the lesser amount accepted by the medical provider pursuant to a negotiated rate as past medical expenses.  The Court held that the injured plaintiff is limited to the discounted amount that is accepted as full payment.   

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04


May

California Insurance Case Law Update

Only the named insured can satisfy general liability insurance policy’s self-insured retention and trigger coverage 

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15


Aug

California Construction Law Update

CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION INDEMNITY AGREEMENTS CLARIFIED

The California Supreme Court recently decided the case of Crawford v. Weather Shield Mfg., Inc., clarifying California law concerning indemnities in construction contracts. An indemnity provision generally requires one party to protect another party from claims, lawsuits or losses related to the contract or work on the project. Indemnity provisions usually encompass two distinct duties: 

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