Can an Insurance Company Commit Bad Faith Through the Motions its Attorneys File?
I have a UM bad faith case in which the defense lawyers filed a MSJ that did not tell the court all of the facts. They left out a large part if the story important to the disposition of the motion. Can the insurance company be found in bad faith for motions their attorneys file in trying to defeat the insured's claim?
Answer: No. See: Andres v. Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co., 2012 OK CIV APP 93, ¶ 290 P.3d 15 (Released for Publication by the Supreme Court): "¶13 State and federal appeals courts also have refused to recognize a bad faith claim against an insurer based solely on an insurance company's alleged post-litigation conduct of disputing an insured's damages.See Sims v. Travelers Ins. Co.,2000 OK CIV APP 145, ¶¶ 9-12,16 P.3d 468, 471-72 (holding that an insurer's litigation conduct could not be used as evidence of bad faith or to form the basis for a bad faith claim);Timberlake Const. Co. v. U.S. Fid. and Guar. Co., 71 F.3d 335, 341 (10th Cir. 1995) ("while evidence of an insurer's litigation conduct may, in some rare instances, be admissible on the issue of bad faith, such evidence will generally be inadmissible"). Rather, after a lawsuit is pending, "to hold an insurer's acceptable litigation tactics as evidence of bad faith would be to deny the insurer a complete defense."Roesler v. TIG Ins. Co., 251 Fed. Appx. 489, 498 (10th Cir. 2007) (unpublished opinion) (citingSims, Timberlake,andHale v. A.G. Ins. Co.,2006 OK CIV APP 80,138 P.3d 567)."
Posted on Mon, March 9, 2015
by Travis Law Office filed under