Steven Plitt, Expert Witness Steven Plitt, Expert Witness
Insurance Bad Faith Claim Handling Expert Serving Clients Nationwide

May 2020 Archives

LABOR COSTS NOT PART OF ACTUAL CASH VALUE

Recently the Tennessee Supreme Court held that in calculating actual cash value, depreciation was part of the calculation. Where the policy does not define what depreciation means, the insurance company may depreciate the cost of the materials used in a repair reconstruction, but not the cost of labor. See, Lammert v. Auto-Owners (Mutual) Insurance Co., 2019 WL 1592687 (Tenn. April 15, 2019). In the Lammert case, the Tennessee Supreme Court was asked by the Federal District Court to certify the following question:

PUTTING THE BRAKES ON SINGLE OCCURRENCE OUTCOMES IN ASBESTOS CASES

The Illinois Court of Appeals in Continental Casualty Co. v. Hennessy Industries, 2019 Ill. App. (1st) 180183 (April 23, 2019) reversed a trial court's ruling finding that there was only one occurrence arising from the insured's brake equipment asbestos exposure. The insured manufactured automobile brake equipment for 30 years. The insured was sued in thousands of lawsuits alleging asbestos exposure from the insured's brake equipment. The exposures were alleged to have occurred at numerous locations throughout the United States. The trial court held that notwithstanding the numerous locations where the exposures occurred there was a single occurrence for all lawsuits. In reversing the trial court, the court of appeals found that the insurance policies in question had a provision requiring exposures to substantially the same general conditions "existing at or emanating from each premises location shall be deemed one occurrence" applied to require all claims to be bundled into a single occurrence at each location.

THIRD PARTY WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM ADMINISTRATORS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO BAD FAITH LIABILITY UNDER IOWA LAW ACCORDING TO THE IOWA SUPREME COURT

The issue of whether Iowa's common law cause of action for bad faith failure to pay workers compensation claims applied to third party claim administrators (TPAs) in the workers comp context was recently addressed by the Iowa Supreme Court by way of certified question in DeDios v. Indemnity Ins. Co. of North America, 927 N.W.2d 611, 2019 WL 2063289 (IA 5/10/19), as amended 5/14/19.

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