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: Litigation Tactics

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Okay, So It’s Not Strictly Coverage, But You “Gotta” Know About Medical Expenses…

Posted in Claim Tips, Litigation Tactics, Miscellaneous
We don’t usually post liability related matters on this blog, but every once and a while there is a ruling that warrants mention.  That ruling was issued today by the Tennessee Supreme Court in Dedmon v. Steelman W2015-01462-SC-R11-CV (click on case for full copy of opinion).  While I may disagree with the result, it is… 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

SUIT AGAINST US CLAUSE APPLIES TO ALL CLAIMS INCLUDING FAILURE TO PROCURE

Posted in Agent Involvement, Application Misrepresentations, Coverage Issues, Litigation Tactics
The Court of Appeals recently issued its opinion in Maples v. Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Co., E2015-00285-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. 2015). The Maples case dealt with fire damage to the Maples’ home in Crossville, Tennessee, insured with Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.  Coverage was denied on August 26, 2013.  Suit was filed on August 6, 2014,… Continue Reading

“MAKE AVAILABLE” DOES NOT REQUIRE INSURERS TO OFFER SINKHOLE COVERAGE

Posted in Claim Tips, Coverage Issues, Litigation Tactics
Tennessee has a statute, T.C.A. § 56-7-130, concerning insurance company requirements with respect to providing sink hole coverage and handling sink hole claims.   The statute was recently amended, and prior to July 1, 2014, was the subject of much litigation.  At issue was whether the statute requiring insurance carriers to “make available” sink hole coverage… 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

Beware of the Shortened Limitation Period to File Suit Contained in Most Insurance Policies

Posted in Litigation Tactics
The Tennessee Court of Appeals rendered another decision yesterday concerning the limitations period that is applicable to lawsuits to enforce an insurance policy.  The court upheld the dismissal of the lawsuit, ruling that the lawsuit was filed outside the time period allowed in the insurance policy.  A copy of the case, Gagne v. State Farm. can be downloaded here.  Unfortunately,… Continue Reading

Use of Social Networking Evidence in Insurance and Workers’ Compensation Litigation

Posted in Discovery, Litigation Tactics
  Two of our readers from Minnesota, Gregory M. Duhl (Associate Professor of Law at William Mitchell College of Law) and Jaclyn Millner (of Fitch, Johnson, Larson & Held, P.A.) have recently posted a draft of an article (to be published in the Pace Law Review) on the use of social networking evidence in insurance… Continue Reading

The “Draft” expert report – is it still discoverable in federal court?

Posted in Litigation Tactics
The U.S. Supreme Court has apparently approved changes to the rules governing expert discovery in federal court. These changes are set to take effect December 1, 2010.  The most interesting, and the one drawing attention at this time, is the Supreme Court‘s exempting of drafts of expert reports from discovery. The Committee on Rules of Practice and… Continue Reading

A Venue Quiz

Posted in Litigation Tactics
The facts:  Plaintiff Doe presently  lives in Carroll County, and his fire damaged home was also in Carroll County. Defendant Insurance Company has a claims office in Madison County. Defendant Agent resides in Carroll County, has his principal place of business in Carroll County, but also has a satellite office in Madison County.   Plaintiff… Continue Reading

Mediating First Party Property Cases

Posted in Litigation Tactics
  In the past two weeks, I have mediated three first party property cases. None of them was alike, and I wanted to share some thoughts on approaching such mediations from the carrier’s perspective, and some comments on the way the insureds have approached the mediation – making it better or worse for fruitful negotiations.    … Continue Reading

Trigger Happy Policyholders?

Posted in Litigation Tactics
Parks Chastain recently wrote here about trigger happy policyholders prematurely filing lawsuits against insurance companies before a denial ever occurs.  The reason for this is the provision in insurance policies that shortens the applicable statute of limitations to a period of usually one or two years from the date of the loss.  As Parks mentioned, however, Tennessee… Continue Reading