Tag Archives: Discovery

Does An Insurer Waive Privilege for Attorney-Client Communications in the Claims File By Denying Bad Faith?

Merlin Law Group is closely monitoring a case pending before the South Carolina Supreme Court to see how it answers the question: “Does South Carolina law support application of the ‘at issue’ exception to the attorney-client privilege such that a party may waive the privilege by denying liability in its answer?”… Continue Reading

Court Finds Policyholders are Entitled to Bad Faith Discovery

Insurance companies hate producing its claims guidelines, loss ratios, and other relevant documents in bad faith litigation. Recently, a Nebraska federal trial court denied Owners Insurance Company’s request to bifurcate my client’s bad faith claim from its breach of contract claim. This ruling prevents unnecessary costs and delay and will allow the insured its day … Continue Reading

Insurance Companies Always Fight Requests for Production of Internal Claims Management Objectives and Goals

Many policyholders think that insurance company adjusters get an individual bonus on each claim for paying less than a certain amount. They distrust the insurance company adjuster and often creatively claim more, fearing that the property insurance adjuster will wrongfully reduce the eventual settlement. The truth is that collectively, many insurance companies pay bonus incentives … Continue Reading

New Jersey Federal Courts Expect Flood Carriers to Turn Over All Draft Engineering Reports on Superstorm Sandy Claims

Late yesterday evening, December 10, 2014, Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey sent a letter to several law firms handling Superstorm Sandy claims, Merlin Law Group included, concerning the potentially widespread issue of “Revised” engineering reports.… Continue Reading

Hurricane Sandy Update – Case Management Order No. 12

If you have been following Hurricane Sandy news, you may already be aware of Judge Brown’s recent November 7th order in Raimey v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company,1 in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) which requires defendants in all Hurricane Sandy cases to provide plaintiffs by December 12th:2 [C]opies of all reports described in … Continue Reading

Texas Appellate Court: Alleged Fabrication of Photographs Did Not Warrant Million Dollar and “Death Penalty” Sanctions Against Insured

Regardless of whether you’re the plaintiff or defendant in an insurance dispute, fabricating or otherwise altering evidence can have some very serious consequences. Earlier this summer, the Sixth District Texas Court of Appeals issued a memorandum opinion involving two of the most severe sanctions parties can face under Texas law for such misconduct – monetary … Continue Reading

Proving and Winning a First-Party Bad Faith Case, Part 6 – The Nuts and Bolts of Discovery

In part 5 my series on Proving and Winning a First Party Bad Faith Case, I posted the interrogatories I recently served on the insurer’s attorney on a case I am handling in federal court in the Western District of Missouri. The interrogatories will provide me with information regarding how the policyholder’s claim was handled … Continue Reading

Insurance Litigation Generally Should Not Occur In A Foreign Insurer’s Backyard

Earlier this week, I had to travel over 3,500 miles round trip to Minneapolis to take issue with a health insurance company suing my Florida policyholder client in Minnesota federal court in an effort to gain an unwarranted strategic and economic advantage. During my several years of insurance policyholder representation, the well-reasoned rule of thumb … Continue Reading

State Farm’s ACE Program

I have previously blogged about the decisions coming out of the United States District Court of Arizona in the Barten v. State Farm case. Recall, my Barten blogs have largely concerned State Farm’s corporate profit augmentation programs, whether the programs are called ACE or something else. Well, good orders just keep coming out of the … Continue Reading

Some “Dos and Don’ts” in Adjusting Claims

As an attorney, I love information, and I enjoy getting my hands on an adjuster’s claim notes; I am privy to the initial reserve, internal thoughts, and other pertinent information that reveals the carrier’s position on my client’s file. On the contrary, I am often sitting in a deposition of a public adjuster where their … Continue Reading

Carrier Bonus / Incentive Plans: Dynamite Discovery Decisions, Part 20

It is not breaking news that many insurance companies monetarily reward their claims department personnel for lowering claim payouts. Thankfully, most courts understand that this is an unacceptable business practice; so, it is not necessarily rare for courts to allow policyholders to discover information pertaining to bonus or incentive plans that insurance companies have in … Continue Reading
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