Main Menu

Legal Blogs and Updates

Print PDF
Insurance Coverage Newsletter - February 2015

Covered in this post: 

  • New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Doctrine of Res Judicata Bars Plaintiff's Subsequent Claim for Bad Faith
  • Supreme Court Finds No Bad Faith When Relying Upon Unpublished Appellate Division Decision and Plain Reading of Policy Language
  • Federal Court Remands Insurance Coverage Action Back to State Forum

Covered in this post: 

  • New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Doctrine of Res Judicata Bars Plaintiff's Subsequent Claim for Bad Faith
  • Supreme Court Finds No Bad Faith When Relying Upon Unpublished Appellate Division Decision and Plain Reading of Policy Language
  • Federal Court Remands Insurance Coverage Action Back to State Forum

NEW JERSEY

Bad Faith
New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Doctrine of Res Judicata Bars Plaintiff's Subsequent Claim for Bad Faith
Wadeer v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company 2015 N.J. LEXIS 132 (Feb.18, 2015)
The New Jersey Supreme Court holds that where an insured's bad faith claim was raised, fairly litigated, and determined by the trial court in the underlying litigation, the insured is barred by the doctrine of res judicata from asserting the bad faith claim in a separate, subsequent action.
The claim arose when the insured suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident that occurred when the insured attempted to avoid an unidentified vehicle. The insured notified his insurer of his uninsured motorist (UM) claim, and demanded payment of his policy limits of $100,000.00.  The insurer declined to do so, and the matter proceeded to arbitration. The panel determined that the insured was 30% liable for the accident and that the phantom vehicle was 70% liable, and that the insured was entitled to a net award of $87,500.00. The insurer rejected the award and demanded a trial. Counsel for the insured wrote to the insurer expressing his belief that the insurer's actions constituted bad faith.   Read the full summary...
Bad Faith
Supreme Court Finds No Bad Faith When Relying Upon Unpublished Appellate Division Decision and Plain Reading of Policy Language    Badiali v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company 2015 N.J. LEXIS 133 (Feb. 18, 2015)   The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that an insurer's decision to reject an arbitration award was "fairly debatable" and supported by a reasonable interpretation of the policy as well as a prior, unpublished Appellate Division opinion, so as to preclude an award of counsel fees and other consequential damages to the insured under a theory of bad faith.   The claim arose when the insured was struck in the rear by an uninsured motorist. The insured maintained uninsured motorist (UM) coverage with his insurer, and was also covered under his employer's policy. The insured filed a UM claim, which proceeded to arbitration and resulted in an award of $29,148.62 in favor of the insured. Both the insurer and the employer's carrier were contractually and statutorily obligation to share the award equally, in the amount of $14,574.31. The employer's carrier paid its half and the insurer rejected the award, relying on language in the policy that permitted either party to reject an award in which the total amount exceeded $15,000.00, and demanded a trial.     Read the full summary...
Declaratory Judgment - Remand
Federal Court Remands Insurance Coverage Action Back to State Forum   Kane Builders, Inc. v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172591 (D.N.J. Dec. 12, 2014)   New Jersey District Court judge remanded back to New Jersey Superior Court a declaratory judgment action that had previously been removed by the defendant insurer. Considerations of judicial economy mandated that the state court hear both the pending underlying suit and the insurance coverage suit, as they featured interconnected parties and issues.   Various entities brought suit in New Jersey Superior Court against the insured, a builder who allegedly bore responsibility for defective construction of a structure. The entities' suit included a count against the builder's insurer for a judgment declaring that the insurer was obligated to defend and indemnify the builder in the action. Meanwhile, the insured brought a separate New Jersey state court action against the insurer. This second complaint -- like the foregoing one -- sought a judgment declaring that the insurer was obligated to defend and indemnify the insured in the underlying construction action. The insurer removed this second claim to federal court.      Read the full summary...
  • Associate

    Edmund Caulfield is an experienced litigator with a successful track record in a wide variety of civil litigation in New Jersey and New York state and federal courts. Edmund routinely handles civil disputes in subject areas as ...

  • Partner

    Jon McHenry is the Chair of Connell Foley's nationally recognized Insurance Coverage Practice Group. Since joining the firm more than two decades ago, Jon has continually achieved groundbreaking results for the firm’s domestic ...

  • Partner

    Neil Mody represents insurance companies in complex insurance coverage matters, devoting personal attention to his clients' needs and the unique circumstances of each exposure to achieve favorable results. His clients include ...

  • Associate

    Nicholas Urciuoli advises clients in all stages of complex litigation, including pre-suit counseling. He regularly represents property and casualty insurers in first and third party coverage disputes involving primary ...

  • Partner

    William Deveau is a versatile practitioner who focuses his practice in the areas of commercial litigation and insurance coverage law. He counsels and represents insurers on complex insurance coverage issues including bad faith ...

  • Partner

    William Krauss is a seasoned commercial litigator with a strong track record of positive outcomes. Working primarily with large national insurers, Bill litigates complex insurance disputes, including appeals, in state and ...

Subscribe

Archives

Back to Page