Tag Archives: Appellate Decisions

Statistical Sampling in Class Action Trial Violated Defendant’s Due Process Rights

In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court on May 29 reversed a class action verdict for a class which was based on a flawed statistical model to determine liability and damages. Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association.
In Duran, plainti…

Did the judge make the right call in XL Specialty v. St. Paul Mercury?

At first glance, the holding of the California 4th District Court of Appeal in XL Specialty Insurance Co. v. St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. seems harsh. The court upheld the dismissal of XL Specialty Insurance Co.’s suit against one of two (D&amp…

One Policy Term, May Have Two Meanings

A California Court of Appeal held in Transport Ins. Co. v. Superior Ct. (R.R. Street & Co.) that a named insured’s reasonable expectations of coverage can be different from those of an additional insured’s. This ruling leaves open …

Meaning of “Mass Actions” Under CAFA clarified by SCOTUS

By James Castle and Natalie Ferrall
In one of its first decisions of the year, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that a civil action filed solely by the State of Mississippi did not constitute a “mass action” under the Class …

SCOTUS DECIDES: Three-Year Contractual Limitations Period Enforceable in ERISA LTD Plan

In Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Acc. Ins. Co. the United States Supreme Court held that a contractual limitations period in an ERISA long-term disability plan was enforceable and began to accrue before the administrator had made a final determinat…

The Potential Pitfalls of Joint Representation

A recent California Court of Appeal opinion, Yanez v. Plummer, provides a cautionary tale for in-house counsel or outside attorneys who jointly represent their institutional client’s employees or agents in depositions. If handled inappropriately,…

California Court Releases Insurers From Strict Duty To Settle

Larry Golub was quoted in an October 23, 2013, article published by Law360 about a California appeals court decision, Paul Reid v. Mercury Insurance Co., which held that insurers generally don’t have to launch settlement discussions with those injured by their policyholders in high stakes cases, freeing insurers from the greater bad faith liability.

This ruling put to bed confusion that was stirred up by the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Du v. Allstate Insurance Co. which said California insurers must proactively work toward a settlement when it’s clear that the policyholder is liable, even if claimants have not made a settlement demand.

Golub told Law360 that it would have been helpful for the appeals court to rule that claimants must make a formal settlement demand before insurers have a duty to settle.

Insurance companies often hold off on responding to claimants’ requests for policy limits because they need more information, especially in cases where there are multiple injured parties and there is little insurance available, Golub said.

He explained that an explicit rule requiring formal settlement demands would ensure that all parties act in good faith.

There should be a bright line rule because there are going to be disputes,” Golub said. “It’s easy for the insured or the insured’s attorney to make a settlement demand formally, and there’s no question.”

For more information on the decision, see this blog’s discussion No Settlement Offer, No Bad Faith Liability for Insurer.

No Settlement Offer, No Bad Faith Liability for Insurer

By Samuel Sorich and Larry Golub
On October 7, 2013, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held in Reid v. Mercury Insurance Company that an insurer that acknowledged its insured’s liability for a third party’s in…

Reasoning Behind Punitive Damages Calculations Provided By California Appellate Court

Royal Oakes was quoted extensively in an Oct. 7, 2013, Claims Journal article, California Court Of Appeals Decision Provides Reasoning Behind Punitive Damages Calculations, about a significant insurance case where $19 million in punitive damages were a…

Reasoning Behind Punitive Damages Calculations Provided By California Appellate Court

Royal Oakes was quoted extensively in an Oct. 7, 2013, Claims Journal article, California Court Of Appeals Decision Provides Reasoning Behind Punitive Damages Calculations, about a significant insurance case where $19 million in punitive damages were a…