Court Rules Claims Notes Prepared After Anticipation Are Discoverable For Bad Faith Claims But Only After Bifurcation of Claims for Breach of Contract and Bad Faith
For decades attorneys for insurance companies and insureds have debated the discoverability of documents contained in the insurer's claims file. Frequently, the debate concerns when an insurer will be required to produce documents prepared in anticipation of litigation. An increasing number of courts are addressing whether claims notes prepared in anticipation in cases must be produced in cases involving bad faith claims. Judge Tilman Self with the Middle District of Georgia ruled in 2018 that such claims notes are discoverable for a bad faith claim, but not for a breach of contract claim, resulting in the bifurcation of the two claims. ... Continue Reading
In light of the increasing cyber data breaches over the last couple of years, Georgia companies must be aware of the legal requirements that are triggered a company discovers or reasonably believes that a breach in the security of the unencrypted personal information data of any Georgia resident has occurred. O.C.G.A. § 10-1-912. ... Continue Reading
Insurance companies investigating fraudulent claims often seek an insured's cell phone on the grounds that the data contained therein is material to its coverage investigation. The GPS data on the insured's phone may provide evidence regarding the insured's location at the time of the loss. The text and call history could also provide information helpful to the fraud investigation. Realizing the potential incriminating evidence that could be obtained through his cell phone, an insured might "lose" his cell phone. What consequences might a court assess because of an insured losing his cellphone or otherwise failing to preserve the cellular data? A federal court has answered that question, holding the insured can be sanction for spoliation of the evidence. ... Continue Reading
Vacancy exclusions found in insurance policies issued to owners of commercial buildings typically provide that a building is vacant unless at least 31% of its total square footage is (i) rented to a lessee or sub-lessee and used b the lessee or sub-lessee to conduct its customary operations; and/or (ii) used by the building owner to conduct its customary operations. ... Continue Reading
Can An Insured's Execution of An Authorization for Release of Information Satisfy A Insured's Duties Following A Loss?
Under Georgia law, "[a]n insurer is entitled to require its insured to abide by the policy terms, and the insured is required to cooperate with the insurer in investigation and resolution of the claim."... ... Continue Reading
The Journal is a publication for the clients of Drew Eckl & Farnham, LLP. It is written in a general format and is not intended to be legal advice to any specific circumstance. Legal Opinions may vary when based upon subtle factual differences. All rights reserved.
H. Michael Bagley