Stephen P. Pate co-authored the article, “Should I Stay or Should I Go? Recent Developments and Special Situations Impacting Removal in Insurance Cases” for the Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) May issue of For The Defense.More
Extracontractual claims pose a unique set of risks to insurers, implicating their business operations and opening potentially vast exposures. Today, it is not enough to have good coverage counsel. Insurers need counsel with deep and specific bad faith and extracontractual experience. Cozen O’Connor’s team of dedicated extracontractual/bad faith attorneys have been practicing in this field for decades.
Our bad faith attorneys defend insurance clients in litigation alleging first- or third-party extracontractual claims related to all lines of business, including property, general liability, professional liability and D&O, life/health/disability and automobile policies. We handle litigation arising from claims handling, underwriting, excess verdicts, uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage, consent judgments, default judgments and garnishment actions. Our attorneys have successfully defeated individual and class claims seeking actual and consequential damages, statutory penalties, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and policy benefits.
Because Cozen O’Connor is a global leader in the area of insurance coverage and claims litigation, we are often able to defeat breach of contract assertions at the outset, thereby mitigating any extracontractual claims. When appropriate, our attorneys are able to negotiate quick and quiet resolutions to bad faith claims. Because they involve questions of honor, duty and essential fairness, these cases are qualitatively different from other coverage disputes. Our lawyers are able to create practical frameworks for discussion, incentivize reasonable conduct and mutuality, and find solutions that limit insurer exposure.
When bad faith and extracontractual disputes must be tried, our attorneys have the proven ability to go to court—and win. We regularly and successfully defend major insurers in multi-million dollar bad faith matters in state, federal and appellate courts throughout the United States. Success is not defined simply by getting a defense verdict, but by winning in way that protects clients’ bottom lines and brands.
Successfully defend bad faith litigation from inception through trial
Design strategies to defeat institutional bad faith cases
Respond to policy limit and time limit demands and analyze potential exposures
Assist in the withdrawal of a defense while avoiding bad faith, waiver and estoppel claims
Respond to unreasonable discovery requests and consent judgments
Bifurcate bad faith claims for discovery and trial, when necessary
Avoid or limit impact of policyholder’s assignment of rights
Negotiate settlements in bad faith cases with multiple insureds/claimants, multiple insurers, limited insurance; avoid or defend against collusive settlements
Monitor underlying litigation and assess impact on coverage issues and potential exposure
May 10, 2023
Stephen P. Pate co-authored the article, “Should I Stay or Should I Go? Recent Developments and Special Situations Impacting Removal in Insurance Cases” for the Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) May issue of For The Defense.
July 20, 2022
In its recent decision, Brink v. Direct General Ins. Co., 38 F.4th 917 (11th Cir. 2022), the Eleventh Circuit ruled 2-1 that the Florida district court erred when it failed to instruct a jury that an insurer not only owed a duty to settle claims for its insured, but also owed a duty to advise its...
July 12, 2022
Michael W. Melendez and Chad A. Pasternack wrote the article “Top Bad Faith Cases of 2021” for Westlaw Today.
June 30, 2022
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently affirmed a long-standing Texas rule: the duty to defend is not implicated unless the insured complies with the policy’s notice-of-suit requirements and demands a defense. Moreno v. Sentinel Ins. Co., Ltd., 35 F.4th 965, 975-77 (5th...
June 28, 2022
In Elephant Insurance Co., LLC v. Kenyon, the Supreme Court of Texas reiterated the framework of an insurer’s common-law duties to insureds under Texas law. In applying that framework to the facts of the case, the Court rejected an attempt to expand an insurer’s obligations under existing...
May 27, 2022
A California appellate court recently ruled that an intentional act may not be an "occurrence" even when there is no intent to cause harm.
May 03, 2022
In its recent decision, People ex rel. Ellinger v. Magill, et al., ---Cal.Rptr.3d---, No. E076378, 2022 WL 1077988 (Cal. Ct. App., Mar. 18, 2022), the California Court of Appeal refused to extend liability under California’s Insurance Frauds Prevention Act (IFPA) to an insurer’s claims handling...
April 29, 2022
A recent Supreme Court decision, High Country Paving, Inc. v. United Fire & Cas. Co., 2022 MT 72, ¶ 1, answered in the negative a question certified by a federal district court regarding tensions inherent in Montana’s Property and Casualty Insurance Policy Simplification Act (“PSA”). The...
March 01, 2022
On February 15, 2022, the United States Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the Southern District of Florida’s summary judgment victory for GEICO, finding that no reasonable jury could conclude that GEICO had operated in bad faith with respect to its handling of a wrongful death claim...
January 26, 2022
On January 19, 2022, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed S.B. 1559, known as the “New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act,” which allows motorists to sue their insurance companies over “unreasonably” late or denied coverage benefits and unfair settlement practices. The bill, passing through both...
August 20, 2021
Just a few short years ago, there was a bright line rule under Texas law concerning appraisal awards. If an insurer timely paid an appraisal award, that payment extinguished all of the insurer’s contractual and extracontractual liability to the insured. See, e.g., Garcia v. State Farm Lloyds, 514...
July 23, 2021
Using general contract interpretation principles, the Fifth Circuit reversed summary judgment in favor of an insurer and found a duty to defend Landry’s in a data breach lawsuit. Landry’s Inc. v. The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, No. 19-20430 (July 21, 2021). Landry’s...
June 08, 2021
The Iowa Supreme Court recently
reversed the appellate court’s denial of an insurer’s motion for a directed
verdict, finding that United Fire did not breach the insurance policy and did
not commit bad faith during a property appraisal. Luigi’s, Inc. v. United Fire and Cas. Co., No. 19-1669, ---...
May 28, 2021
An insurer can no longer claim its lack of notice of a lawsuit against its insured excuses it for failing to settle the suit after the Georgia Supreme Court’s recent decision in GEICO Indemnity Co. v. Whiteside, Case No. S21Q0227 (Ga. April 19, 2021). In Whiteside, the Georgia Supreme Court held...
May 19, 2021
Waiver, estoppel and forfeiture are
doctrines on which insureds often rely to try to create coverage outside the terms of the insurance
policy. Insureds will often assert that they are entitled to such
extra-contractual coverage based entirely
on how the insurer handled the claim. But
April 27, 2021
On March 8, 2021
the California Court of Appeal, reversing a $10 million verdict against
Farmers, found that a jury must specifically find unreasonable acts by an insurer
to support a “failure to settle” bad faith finding. Pinto v. Farmers Ins. Exch., No. B295742,
__ Cal. App. 5th __, 2021 WL...
April 21, 2021
Illinois does not recognize bad
faith as an independent tort. In the first-party context, bad faith is a purely
statutory construct which hinges upon whether an insurer’s conduct was
“vexatious and unreasonable.” Section 155 of the Illinois Insurance Code (215
ILCS 5/155) provides the exclusive...
April 19, 2021
In two recent cases, the courts
showed substantial deference to patients’ treating physicians in determining
the reasonableness of medical treatment. This deference appears to reflect a
reluctance of courts to decide what healthcare is appropriate for a patient.
In Peterson v. Western National...
March 29, 2021
Michael Melendez and Rebekah Shapiro discuss a recent California Appeals Court decision in Planet Bingo LLC v. Burlington Ins. Co., and what it means for liability insurers.
April 22, 2020
Karl A. Schulz and Stephen P. Pate discuss three recent cases decided by the Texas Suprme Court that revived policyholder suits that were in limbo when Barbara Technologies and Ortiz were decided.
October 08, 2019
Terri Sutton and Jordan Hess discuss the state Supreme Court decision in Keodalah v. Allstate Insurance Company, et al.
July 17, 2019
Donnie M. Apodaca, II, Stephen Pate, and Alicia G. Curran discuss two recent the Supreme Court of Texas’s decisions and considerations for insurers before they invoke appraisal and pay the appraisal awards.
May 10, 2019
Peter Berg discusses the decision in Draggin' Y Cattle Co., Inc. v. Junkermier, Clark, Campanella, Stevens, P.C. and how it impacts settlements in Montana.
February 05, 2019
Kristie M. Abel discusses how Abbey/Land demonstrates that an insurer can successfully contest such a judgment, however, the insurer needs to meet a high burden in order to prevail.
February 01, 2019
Laura Dowgin discusses the decision in D.K. Prop., Inc. v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA and notes that while it resulted in a favorable outcome for the policyholder there has been no shift in New York bad faith law.
June 21, 2023 - Webinar
John David Dickenson and Chad A. Pasternack will present a Cozen O'Connor webinar titled "Florida Insurance and Bad Faith Reform Update."
March 29, 2023 - Tampa, FL
October 25, 2022 - Webinar
July 25, 2022 - Seattle, Washington
January 26, 2022 - Webinar
September 24, 2021 - Lake Buena Vista, FL
February 13, 2019 - WEBINAR
October 24, 2018 - Webinar
August 15, 2018 - Webinar
June 28, 2018 - San Antonio, TX
June 14, 2022
Alissa Christopher, Member of the firm's Global Insurance Department, was recognized as the Volunteer of the Week by the Human Rights Initiative (HRI) of North Texas.