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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

July 12, 2019 BY Karen Karabinos | First Party Insurance Law

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

Georgia Courts Continue to Uphold "exclusive remedy" Rule Under O.C.G.A. § 33-4-6

July 12, 2019 BY Mary Alice Jasperse | First Party Insurance Law

In Georgia, bad faith claims brought by a policyholder against the insurer are codified by statute specifying the requirements for a policyholder to recover a civil remedy for an insurer's bad faith refusal to pay a valid claim: ... Continue Reading

The Strike Zone's Over Here, Ump! A Multi-Jurisdictional Overview of Recent Coverage and Valuation Issues Arising During Appraisal

July 31, 2018 BY Mary Alice Jasperse | First Party Insurance Law

In the wake of a property loss, disputes often arise between policyholder and insurer regarding the value of the claim. The purpose of the appraisal process is to move the claim adjustment process forward even in the event of such disputes. Standard appraisal provisions provide that upon a disagreement between the insurer and the insured on the "amount of loss," either party may demand an appraisal. After such a demand is made, each party has a designated time period in which to identify an appraiser. ... Continue Reading

Fraud in Part, Fraud in Whole?

May 22, 2018 BY Chip George | First Party Insurance Law

In the first-party insurance context, most policies provide more than one type of coverage. A homeowner's policy will usually contain a liability component and a property component, as well as providing different types of property coverage—coverage for structure or dwelling damage versus coverage for damage to personal property and contents. Often times, one event or loss will trigger more than one type of coverage under the same policy, such as in a fire loss. ... Continue Reading

Can An Insured "Losing" His Cellphone Constitute Spoliation of the Evidence?

March 30, 2018 BY Karen Karabinos | First Party Insurance Law

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

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. 

Editorial Board:

H. Michael Bagley
(Editor-in-chief)

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