We’ve all seen it before. The insured files a claim, the insurance company sends out an adjuster to adjust the loss, the loss is more complex, or a situation arises that the adjuster cannot handle so the insurance company forwards the claim to their legal department. At that point, an attorney becomes involved and the adjustment of the claim, as well as the communication between the parties is limited and calculated.
Continue Reading Court Holds Documents Created by Counsel During Claims Handling Were Not Privileged

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

In 2017, the Arizona Supreme Court changed the scope and limits of discovery to “any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party’ claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case.”1 Starting in July 2018, Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 26.2, will take effect. Rule 26.2 has been significantly changed, adopting a “Three-Tiered” system of civil case management to make discovery occur in a manner consistent with Rule 26.1(b)(1)—proportional discovery.
Continue Reading Changes in the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure Will Impact Your Case

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 in court much faster.
Continue Reading Court Finds Policyholders are Entitled to Bad Faith Discovery

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 to claims personnel when they hit certain objective claims goals which also involve paying less on a claim.


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

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 claimsMerlin Law Group included, concerning the potentially widespread issue of “Revised” engineering reports.


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

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 CMO 1 not previously produced – plus any drafts, redlines, markups, reports, notes, measurements, photographs and written communications related thereto – prepared, collected or taken by any engineer, adjustor or other agent or contractor affiliated with any defendant, relating to the properties and damage at issue in each and every case, whether such documents are in the possession of defendant or any third party.


Continue Reading Hurricane Sandy Update – Case Management Order No. 12