When I saw my colleague Mike Pappitoninio, who sponsors Mass Torts Made Perfect, started advertising for what must have been his first ever seminar on the intricacies of a property insurance policy, I knew it was only a matter of time before the Mass Tort Lawyers would start to file their lawsuits and ask the Federal Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate the litigation.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Update April 22–Here Come The Mass Tort Lawyers!

Why sue one at a time when you can sue by the bushel full? Billy Goat Taverns are ganging up against their mutual insurance company, Society National, in a federal class action lawsuit. This lawsuit is seeking damages and a declaration of coverage due to their closure from the coronavirus. This class action lawsuit was filed by a personal injury attorney.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Insurance Update April 3—A Class of Billy Goats Joins the Fray Along With Advertising Attorneys While The ISO Says No, No, No

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. It is listed as the 35th largest company in the Fortune 500. Big companies sometimes have big problems. State Farm had a one billion dollar judgement problem that now may be a seven billion dollar problem.

Continue Reading Did State Farm Buy Its Way Out of a Billion Dollar Judgment?

A recently filed proposed class action1 accusing California health insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross of using a "bait and switch" scheme that offered insurance policy "renewals" that did not clearly disclose major policy changes offers a great example of why the law requires insurers to notify insureds of reductions in insurance coverage.


Continue Reading Class Action Highlights Notification Requirements When Insurers Seek to Reduce Coverage Associated with “Renewals”

Merlin Law Group filed a class action lawsuit in Federal Court today alleging that sales tax was not being paid to many Superstorm Sandy policyholders with flood insurance claims insured by Selective Insurance. Some must be wondering that if policyholders cannot trust insurance company engineering reports, why should they trust that the estimates of damage made by the insurance companies own estimators?


Continue Reading Sales Tax Missing From Sandy Claims Estimates Leads to Class Action Lawsuit

When a borrower fails to obtain or maintain proper hazard, flood, or wind/hail insurance on property that secures a loan, the lender remains authorized to “force place insurance” on the property in order to protect the lender’s interest in the property. Sounds reasonable… right? On its face, it makes sense that lending institutions should have the right to make sure property securing a loan maintain adequate insurance in the event of a natural disaster or other hazard that property owners encounter.

Like so many issues with both high finance and insurance carriers, though, one can’t necessarily take force placed insurance at face value. In this initial installment of the Force Placed Insurance Series, I’ll take a closer look at issues surrounding force placed insurance.


Continue Reading Are Lenders Properly Protecting Themselves and Property Owners When Property Insurance Lapses? – Force Placed Insurance Series

In a recent conference on Class Actions and Aggregate Litigation,1 a recent trend in Class Actions was discussed that could have a significant affect on the property damage insurance claims handling industry:

(i) “Private regulatory actions” – i.e., mass lawsuits based on a private right of action that challenge conduct not widely recognized as being wrong. This category would include many current class actions in the United States, such as those involving alleged deceptive trade practices.2


Continue Reading Paths to Mass Justice: “Private Regulatory Actions” to Enforce Policyholder Rights – Aggregate Litigation Series

Let’s consider the following scenarios. For purposes of this discussion, we assume you handle hail claims all over Texas:

  1. For all claims statewide in which the carrier pays for full roof replacement, the carrier still denies payment for particular roofing system components.
  2. The carrier pays Overhead & Profit for Dallas claims, but denies Overhead & Profit in Amarillo.

My previous post in this Aggregate Litigation series generated interest and discussion regarding potential Class Actions. In this post, we will discuss requirements for Class Certification. In addition, how those requirements influence whether a Class Action is the best option for recovery under different circumstances.


Continue Reading Is there a class for that? Requirements For “Class Certification” – Aggregate Litigation Series

Let’s consider the following:

  • How many public adjusters and lawyers do you know who routinely represent policyholders on claims that total less than $500?
  • How many public adjusters and policyholder lawyers do you know who refuse to resolve any claim unless the carrier pays for every lower-value damaged component in the roofing system?
  • What if a means existed to efficiently prosecute smaller claims that are not typically prosecuted because the costs are likely to exceed the benefits?


Continue Reading Smaller claims? Claims too small to pursue? Class Action might be the answer – Aggregate Litigation Series