Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

Where An Insurance Company Breaches Its Duty To Defend, It Can Be Liable For An Excess Verdict Even If The Company Did Not Act In Bad Faith

Ryan Pretner suffered critical injuries when he was hit by a truck driven by Michael Vasquez.  Mr. Vasquez’s truck was covered by two auto policies, his personal policy, and his business auto policy.  His personal insurance with Progressive had a limit of $100,000 per person.  His commercial auto policy with Century Surety Company had a $1,000,000 limit.Century Surety conducted an investigation and determined that Mr. Vasquez was not in the course and scope of his business as an auto … [Read more...]

Mills Contributes to DRI’s 2018 Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act Compendium

DRI has again honored Mike Mills, selecting him to author the Nevada and Utah Chapters in its 2018 Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act Compendium.  DRI turns to it most respected members from across the country to author state-specific sections to all of its Compendia.  Mike Mills also authored the Nevada Chapter of DRI’s 2016 Duty to Defend Compendium.  A full copy of the UCP Compendium can be ordered from DRI at Order Your Copy Here!.Feel free to preview the Compendium by CLICKING HERE … [Read more...]

Nevada’s Absolute Liability Statute Does Not Create A Third-Party Bad Faith Claim.

We have previously written about Saundra Torres.  She was hurt when she was involved in an auto accident with a vehicle that was insured by Nevada Direct Insurance Company.She filed suit against Nevada Direct’s insureds Perez-Castellano and Mollinedo-Cruz.  For a time, Nevada Direct defended.  But after the insureds failed to cooperate, Nevada Direct withdrew its defense and filed a declaratory relief action.  In the declaratory relief action, Torres refused Nevada Direct’s offer to settle … [Read more...]

Ambiguous State Farm UM Coverage Allows Wife To Recover For Separate Emotional Distress Caused By Witnessing Husband’s Death

Mrs. Brewington rode her motorcycle a little behind Mr. Brewington on State Highway 49 in California. An oncoming rider crossed the center line striking Mr. Brewington and ejecting him from his bike. Mrs. Brewington witnessed the collision, stopped and called for assistance. Mr. Brewington died on the way to the hospital with Mrs. Brewington by his side.The negligent rider had no liability insurance. However, the Brewingtons had UM coverage with their motorcycle carrier State Farm in the … [Read more...]

A Reasonable Defense Trumps Bad Faith Even With Multiple Policy Limit Demands And An Excess Verdict

Jesse Kalberer and Eileen Mediola were in a car accident. Ms. Mediola’s attorney sent a policy limit demand to Jesse’s auto carrier, American Family. American Family rejected the demand claiming that the injuries were pre-existing and that the medical bills were overstated.American Family warned Jesse of a possible excess verdict. Plaintiff even emailed American Family and asked the company to settle so as to not expose Jesse to an excess verdict.At the same time, Jesse’s defense … [Read more...]