Insurance Bad Faith

Insurance Bad Faith: the Past, Present and Unpredictable Future?

As published in the Riverside County Bar Association’s Riverside Lawyer, May 2017: by Wylie A. Aitken & Megan G. Demshki Over the last several decades California has been at the forefront of protecting consumers through insurance bad faith law. However, recent case law developments have generated confusion over when the insurer has a duty to… read more

$510,000:Questionable Handling Of A Baseball Spectator’s Injury By Insurance Company

CASE DESCRIPTION:  Plaintiff injured while sitting in bleachers by flying bat.  Plaintiff brings suit for medical expenses and other damages.  The homeowner’s insurer of the person, who launched the bat, was sued for the policy limits.  After a break down between parties regarding settlement  negotiations, the Defendant later settled for five times the policy limits…. read more

$1,300,000: Despite Clear Liability, A Driver’s Insurance Co. Acts In Bad Faith And Pays For It

CASE DESCRIPTION:  Couple injured by hit and run driver.  The Driver was found to be personally liable.  In addition the insurance company of the driver paid out the policy limits and more due to their bad faith in handling this case. RESULT:  $1,300,000 total settlement The subject accident occurred on Pacific Coast Highway near the… read more

$2,106,000: Playing With Fire

CASE DESCRIPTION:  A young boy was rendered a paraplegic while a riding in a friends car.  The insurance covering that vehicle refused to disclose the policy limits despite evidence that the boy’s injuries far exceeded the limits of the policy.  A law suit was filed alleged Bad Faith on the part of the insurance company…. read more

$2,500,000: Insurance Co. Flip-Flops As To Whether Their Client Was At Fault In An Accident

CASE DESCRIPTION: The plaintiff was involved in an auto accident with and uninsured motorist. The uninsured motorist sued plaintiff for their injuries. Plaintiff’s insurance carrier (defendant) defended the plaintiff in that action claiming no liability. However, when the plaintiff sought to collect on their under insured motorist policy, defendant began claiming the plaintiff was at… read more

$6,868,000: Legal Whodunit Solved In Quadriplegic’s Favor In Santa Ana Eight Year Battle

CASE DESCRIPTION: Plaintiff, while a passenger in his own car, was rendered a quadriplegic from a collision.  Plaintiff brought cause of action against the driver of his own car.  The jury ruled in favor for the Plaintiff, but also found him to be comparatively negligent. RESULT:  $6,868,894.00 total verdict.  Note: Since the plaintiff was found… read more

$17,062,000: Counsel’s ‘Claims Manual’ Helps Secure Punitive Damages Against Insurer

CASE DESCRIPTION: Plaintiffs home catches on fire damaging 80% of their home and personal property. The Plaintiffs had home insurance with a provision that almost doubled the basic policy if the home had to be rebuilt. The plaintiffs attempted to rebuild and sought the higher coverage from their insurance. For the next 3 years the… read more

Maximized Results Through Sophisticated Analysis Of Settlement Options

Although the law firm of Aitken * Aitken * Cohn prides itself in our long history of excellent results at trial, many cases can be successfully resolved through settlement. One of the most frequently asked questions encountered by our law firm is: “How do we evaluate cases for settlement purposes?” Our firm takes a sophisticated… read more

Excess Judgement

BAD FAITH CASES CAN PUNISH STONEWALLING INSURERS Insurance companies are businesses, and like all businesses they seek to maximize their profit. For this reason, insurance companies are much more enthusiastic about accepting premiums (income) than paying legitimate claims (expenses). This is the dynamic which leads insurers to drag matters out, and to stonewall settlement demands… read more

“Is the Policy Open”

A. Define “Open Policy” When has an insurer, by virtue of its failure to meet its duties to its insured, exposed itself to paying the full value of a third party’s claim — including amounts in excess of policy limits? Typical Examples (black & white): Failure to pay settlement demand that is within the policy… read more