In January 2011, I wrote a series of posts titled A Wisconsin Policyholder’s Success in a Bad Faith Lawsuit Against Safeco. In the case, the policyholders suffered extensive water and mold damage and filed a claim with Safeco. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin ruled in favor of the policyholders, finding their losses were covered by the policy and concluding that Safeco acted in bad faith when handling their claim. Safeco appealed the District Court’s decision and today I am writing about the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision.
Safeco did not challenge the district court’s findings of fact. Rather, Safeco argued on appeal that there would not have been coverage if Safeco would have been allowed to rely on the exclusions, so there would not have been a finding of bad faith. Safeco also argued there was no bad faith because the coverage issue was at least "fairly debatable." The Seventh Circuit reviewed the arguments Safeco presented in the underlying trial and found no error with the trial court’s findings of bad faith against Safeco.
A complete copy of the opinion is available here for review.
I would like to congratulate Craig and Nancy Miller and their entire legal team, led by Anthony Murdock, Esq., on this tremendous success.