Bad Faith

Do I need to have an expert for an auto insurance bad faith claim? 

Answer: The Tenth Circuit thinks the jury can understand bad faith without an expert. The cases around the country are in conflict. See: Neal v. Farmers, 582 P.2d 980, 987-88 (Cal. 1978): Testimony proper. Contra: Kooyman v. Farm Bureau, 315 N.W.2d 30, 37 (Iowa 1982); Hart-Anderson v. Hauck, 748 P.2d 937 (Mont. 1988).

Thompson v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 34 F.3d 932, 940-41 (10th Cir. 1994): Not error to exclude expert testimony in bad faith case where witness not timely listed. “Where as here expert testimony is offered on an issue that a jury is capable of assessing for itself, it is plainly within the trial court’s discretion to rule that testimony inadmissible because it would not even marginally ‘assist the trier of fact,’ while it must be viewed as ‘needless presentation’ (Fed.R.Evid. 403)....”