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: Miscellaneous

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When is Overhead and Profit Due in Tennessee?

Posted in Coverage Issues, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized, Valuation Issues
Several years ago I discussed a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case where the court determined that general contractor’s Overhead and Profit were recoverable if the insured would “reasonably be expected to hire a contractor to repair its property”  See Parkway Assoc., LLC v. Harleysville Mut. Ins. Co., 129 Fed. Appx. 955 (6th Cir. 2005).… Continue Reading

Insurance Companies Bear the Burden of Proving Arson

Posted in Coverage Issues, Litigation Tactics, Miscellaneous
Back in November 2013, I had the great honor to represent Larry and Sue Banks in their case against Cincinnati Insurance Company.  My partner, Clint Scott, and I presented the case to a federal jury and after deliberations, the jury returned a verdict for more than $2.2 million.  The insurance company accused the Banks of… Continue Reading

When it Comes to Insurance Policies, There is No Difference in Cosmetic Damage and Functional Damage

Posted in Coverage Issues, Litigation Tactics, Miscellaneous
In the past, I’ve posted a few articles regarding the recent trend of insurers to attempt to deny hail damage claims on the basis that the damage is “cosmetic” rather than “functional.”  Most commonly, the issue arises when there are hail dents to a metal roof and the insurance company denies the claim on the… Continue Reading

Insurers’ Marketshare in Tennessee

Posted in Miscellaneous
In the most recent statement by the Commissioner of Insurance regarding insurance companies’ marketshare of homeowners’ policies in Tennessee, it appears that there are two primary players – State Farm and Farm Bureau (Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company).  State Farm leads the way with a market share of 25%, with Farm Bureau second at 19%.… Continue Reading

TN Farm Bureau Changes its Coverage on Roof Claims

Posted in Miscellaneous
I recently learned that Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company (Farm Bureau) has changed the way it will pay roof claims.  Specifically, a recent endorsement changes roof coverage to actual cash value for roofing materials instead of replacement cost.  This means that roof materials will be depreciated in the event of a roof claim.  For example,… Continue Reading

Legislative Reaction To Recent Court Decisions

Posted in Miscellaneous
In response to a couple of cases rendered earlier this year, the Tennessee legislature has adopted Senate Bill 2271, which has two important impacts. The statute was signed into law by Governor Haslam on May 10, 2012. For a PDF copy, click here.  The new law provides that the signature of an applicant for or party to… Continue Reading

Tennessee Hospital Lien Does Not Attach to Medical Payment Benefits

Posted in Miscellaneous
In Shelby County Health Care Corporation d/b/a Regional Medical Center v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, the Tennessee Supreme Court held that the statutory hospital lien act does not attach to medical payment benefits paid pursuant to an insurance policy. In this case, the “Med” attempted to recover the full amount of its medical treatment rendered… 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

The Aftermath of the Great Flood

Posted in Miscellaneous
 Fifteen or so inches later, the rain has officially stopped.  The entire state breathed a sigh of relief yesterday as the sun started trying to dry things out.  I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t have any damage, but there are thousands of people who have lost personal treasures.  Photographs, antiques . .… Continue Reading

Anybody Got an Ark?

Posted in Miscellaneous
Not much legal analysis here but . . . it is coming an absolute flood in West TN.  We’ve got about 6 inches of rain in the past few hours, with that much or more coming over the next 24 hours.  I may have to call in the calvary and get Chip Merlin and company… Continue Reading

Please Just Give Me a Trial by Ambush

Posted in Miscellaneous
I came in this morning to an email from my partner, Justin Gilbert.  Justin lost a jury trial last week in Decatur County Circuit Court, and offered some insightful thoughts about the experience in a short article he entitled, “Please Just Give Me a Trial by Ambush.”  Here’s an excerpt: The point is this: The… Continue Reading

Revisions to Local Rules in Western District

Posted in Miscellaneous
Several attorneys have been appointed to revise the Local Rules for the federal courts in West Tennessee. The committee is scheduled to meet in mid-October and the committee members are actively seeking input from the local bar for suggestions and comments regarding revisions to the present Local Rules.   A very significant portion of my… Continue Reading

Cell Phones and Spoliation of Evidence

Posted in Miscellaneous
An Oklahoma insurance lawyer, Steven Buckman, recently started a new blog called Oklahoma Insurance Law. Its well written with a bit of comedy, including frequent accounts with "Bubba" (the redneck policyholder) and the "tall building lawyer" (the insurer’s counsel). In the latest post, the topic was whether deleting photographs from a cell phone constitutes spoliation… 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

The Florida Sun

Posted in Miscellaneous
You may have noticed I haven’t posted any entries for a few days, but I’ve got a good excuse – – sunny, beautiful Florida.  While I was out basking in the sun, banging a golf ball from sand-trap to sand-trap, and watching my little girls explore the ocean, John Day made reference to our new blog at… Continue Reading

Top 10 Reasons Complaints are Made Against Insurance Companies

Posted in Miscellaneous
According to an April 28, 2009 report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC"), the top ten reasons consumers complain about their insurance coverage are as follows: Claim Handling – Delays Claim Handling – Denial of Claim Claim Handling – Unsatisfactory Settlement/Offer Claim Handling – Other Underwriting – Premium & Rating Underwriting – Cancellation Policyholder… Continue Reading