The Rigsby sisters have now prevailed in the highest court of the land in their decade long fight against State Farm.1 The Rigsby sisters were catastrophe adjusters working for State Farm on Hurricane Katrina claims. I have noted this case for some time:


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It is the general understanding when one brings a lawsuit on a flood claim under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that the only recovery available to the policyholder is actual damages. The policyholder is not entitled to attorney fees or bad faith (extra-contractual) damages, which might be recoverable in other first-party property damage cases. In an unusual case out of the Eastern District of North Carolina, a federal district court found Allstate acted in bad faith for unfair claims handling in a flood claim and assessed extra-contractual damages.1


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Only insurance company claims managers and their paid for lawyers could argue that a hail dented roof is not a covered loss under a property insurance policy which specifically covers hail damage. A federal appellate court decision issued last week1 helps put an end to these crazy attempts by insurance company lawyers that argue virtually anything to get out of the contractual promise.


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Recently the Fourth District Court of Appeal (“4th DCA”) abated a bad faith case brought against Safeco. The underlying issue of coverage was also involved in the lawsuit. We have often discussed how Florida law requires a determination of liability and extent of damages before a bad faith action can proceed. The 4th DCA decided to abate and not dismiss a bad faith action against Safeco Insurance Company in an opinion issued September 17, 2014.1


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The almost 4-year long court battle surrounding the BP Oil Spill seems to have taken a turn for the worst for BP. Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana determined the London-based company’s gross negligence and willful misconduct led to millions of gallons of oil being spilled into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. This means BP could face “enhanced civil penalties” under the Clean Water Act – which nearly quadruples if a discharge of oil results from gross negligence or willful misconduct.


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On August 30, 2014, I wrote about a hot topic in Florida that concerns whether a policyholder can pursue a bad faith case against their insurance company after the claim proceeds through the appraisal process and an award is entered: In Florida, an Appraisal Award May Be a Final Determination of Liability For a Bad Faith Case. Continuing on the discussion of this topic is a recent case of Merlin Law Group attorney Kelly Kubiak from Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal (“4th DCA”), Cammarata v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company.1


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