Tennessee Insurance Litigation Blog

Tennessee Insurance Litigation Blog

Legal insights on insurance litigation in the State of Tennessee

The Policyholder’s Perspective from
Brandon McWherter
of Gilbert Russell McWherter Scott Bobbitt PLC
J. Brandon McWherter is a partner at Gilbert Russell McWherter Scott Bobbitt PLC, which has four Tennessee offices in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, and Chattanooga. Read More
The Insurance Company’s Perspective from
Parks T. Chastain
of Brewer, Krause, Brooks & Chastain, PLLC
Parks T. Chastain, a member in the Nashville, Tennessee law firm of Brewer, Krause, Brooks, Chastain & Burrow, PLLC, focuses on the representation of insurers. Read More

Category Archives: Bad Faith

Subscribe to Bad Faith RSS Feed

Another Court Allows Punitive Damages Claim to Proceed

Posted in Bad Faith
In June of this year, Judge Tom Anderson joined the ranks of other judges in Tennessee that have held that punitive damages can be awarded against an insurance company for breach of an insurance contract, if the breach was intentional, malicious, reckless, or malicious.  The case was Carroll v. Nationwide Property & Casualty Company, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73674… Continue Reading

Farm Bureau’s “Take It or Leave It Offer” Determined to be Unfair Claims Practice

Posted in Bad Faith, Consumer Protection Act
In Brooks v. Tenn. Farmers Mut. Ins. Co., 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 776 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 26, 2014), an insured’s home was damaged by a tornado and an independent adjuster hired by the insurance company offered the homeowner $56,788 to resolve the claim. The homeowner disagreed with the estimate and refused to settle the claim… Continue Reading

Cosmetic Damage – Honest Disagreement or Reckless Misbehavior?

Posted in Bad Faith, Coverage Issues
Insurance companies are increasingly denying claims based on engineering reports that there is “no functional damage” (damage which impairs the functionality of the roof) and that the damage is “cosmetic only.”  For example, if a hail storm comes through and wreaks havoc on a metal roof to a home, it might still be functional even… Continue Reading

Tennessee Federal Court Allows Claim for Punitive Damages Against Insurer to Proceed

Posted in Bad Faith, Litigation Tactics
In Montesi v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 970 F. Supp.2d 784 (W.D. Tenn. Aug. 8, 2013), the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee allowed a policyholder’s claim for punitive damages to proceed, holding that punitive damages are recoverable in a stand-alone claim for negligence infliction of emotional distress.  Ms. Montesi was… Continue Reading

Another Take on the U.S. Bank Case

Posted in Bad Faith
  Far from being “ho hum” as my colleague writes, the case of U. S. Bank, N.A. as servicer for the Tennessee Housing Development Agency v. Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, No. W2012-00053-COA-R3-CV, filed November 29, 2012, the did establish some important points of law – but from the insurer’s perspective, in limiting bad faith… Continue Reading

Tennessee Legislature Restricts Application of Consumer Protection Act, Overruling Myint v. Allstate

Posted in Bad Faith, Consumer Protection Act
On April 29, 2011, the Tennessee legislature adopted House Bill 1189 was enacted into law and signed by Governor Haslam. Public Chapter No. 130 will be codified in Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 56, Chapter 8, Part 1. The signed law is available by clicking here. The law amends Title 56 related to insurance business acts and… Continue Reading

Discovery in Bad Faith and Consumer Protection Act Cases, Part I

Posted in Bad Faith, Consumer Protection Act, Discovery
In bad faith and Tennessee Consumer Protection Act cases, I routinely run into work product objections during discovery. Often these objections are made even as to reports and documents generated before the claim was denied. I believe work-product objections as to pre-denial materials are improper. As we know, Rule 26.02(3) protects against disclosure of materials… Continue Reading

Delay, Deny, Defend

Posted in Bad Faith, Miscellaneous
Delay, Deny, Defend – Why Insurance Companies Don’t Pay Claims and What You Can Do About It. No, that’s not the theme of a bad faith trial.  Its the title of Professor Jay M. Feinman’s new book that chronicles the bad faith practices of insurance companies.  Several months back, the book’s publisher, Penguin, provided me… Continue Reading

Bad Faith Penalty Against an Insured?

Posted in Bad Faith
My learned friend Parks Chastain recently posted here that Tennessee law provides for a reverse bad faith penalty of not more than 25% of the amount claimed when a policyholder does not bring an action in good faith.  Parks’ use of the adage "what’s good for the goose is good for the gander" is right… Continue Reading

Experts Hired by Insurance Companies to Assist with Claim Decisions Should be Unbiased

Posted in Bad Faith, Miscellaneous
 As a result of the numerous tornados that have passed through Tennessee over the past decade, I have become acutely aware of the fact that insurance companies use the same engineering firms over and over again in their investigation of whether a claim constitutes a covered loss.  The obvious problem with insurance companies’ repeated use… Continue Reading

Independent Adjusters Can Be Held Liable for Violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act

Posted in Bad Faith, Consumer Protection Act
Magistrate Ed Bryant (W.D. Tenn.) recently issued a Report and Recommendation in one of my cases in which he held that Tennessee law allows an independent adjuster to be held liable under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.  The defendant independent adjuster argued that my client failed to state a claim under the TCPA because the… Continue Reading

Utilizing the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act

Posted in Bad Faith
The Tennessee legislature has listed certain certain practices which constitute unfair acts or practices in the business of insurance.  See T.C.A. § 56-8-105.  The statute, known as the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, creates standards and rules by which insurance companies must abide when settling claims.  For example, the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act provides… Continue Reading