Arizona Reduces Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case Again: Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance
In Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance Company, 235 Ariz. 371, 332 P.3d 597 (App. 2014), despite finding an insurer's conduct moderately to highly reprehensible, the Arizona Court of Appeals recently reduced a punitive damages award from $1,117,572 to $328,000—a 4:1 ratio to bad faith compensatory damages of $82,000. In so holding, the Court of Appeals continues Arizona's trend of reducing punitive damages … Read More
How Much Do I Know About Insurance and Arizona Business?
Is there one insurance policy to cover all of my risks?
No. Insurance is the sale of certain risks in exchange for a premium. No policy buys all the risks a business faces.
How many policies do I need?
Generally speaking, a business should have a general liability policy, coverage for automobiles used in the business and worker's compensation insurance. But there are many other policies and … Read More
Damron Agreement or Stipulated Judgment Got You in a Bind? Arizona Supreme Court Considers Binding Effect of Fact Stipulations on Insurers in Quihuis v. State Farm
In Quihuis v. State Farm, --- Ariz. ---, 334 P.3d 719 (Ariz. Oct. 1, 2014), the Arizona Supreme Court recently held that a stipulated fact in a Damron Agreement that is both an element of liability and essential to establishing coverage does not bind an insurer in subsequent coverage litigation. In so holding, the Supreme Court clarified that stipulated facts in Damron Agreements regarding liability do bind an … Read More
Jaburg Wilk Continues to Grow Insurance and Construction Practices
PHOENIX, Ariz. (Sept. 29, 2014)- The law firm of Jaburg & Wilk, P.C. announced that C. Cole Crabtree and Erick Durlach both joined the firm as partners, bringing a variety of knowledge and expertise to the firm.
Crabtree’s practice areas include construction defect, products liability, professional liability, personal injury and general insurance defense litigation. He represents both design professionals … Read More
What is a Morris Agreement?
A "Morris Agreement" is a "settlement agreement entered into when the insurer is defending under a reservation of rights under which the insured stipulates to a judgment, assigns his rights against the insurer to the claimant, and receives in return a covenant from the claimant not to execute against the insured."See Parking Concepts, Inc. v. Tenney 207 Ariz. 19 n.1, 83 P.3d 19n.1 (2004).
What is the … Read More
Toxic Mold can Infect Your Bottom Line
Toxic mold and asbestos have nothing in common from a biochemical viewpoint. But from a business perspective, they share one big thing. Both cause expensive legal problems for insurers, construction companies, property developers, building owners and managers, landlords, contractors and subcontractors, school districts, suppliers, investors, lenders and employers.
Understand the Surge
In the past few years, … Read More
Commercial General Liability Insurance
A business benefits from adequate commercial general liability coverage, sometimes referred to as "CGL" insurance. Such a policy protects if someone is injured at the place of business. It also covers damage or injuries caused by company employees at a customer place of business or home. Typically, there are four basic categories of coverage in a CGL policy. These include: bodily injury; property damage; personal … Read More
Younger Brother Entitled to Underinsured Motorist Coverage as Resident of Older Brother’s Household
In Mendota Insurance Company v. Gallegos, 232 Ariz. 126, 302 P.3d 651, 657 (2013), the Arizona Court of Appeals recently held that a named insured's younger brother was a resident of his older brother's household and therefore entitled to underinsured motorist ("UIM") coverage despite the facts that Older Brother rented a room at friend's house and spent the majority of his time at his girlfriend's … Read More
Continuing Bad Faith: Theory of Liability or Rule of Evidence?
By: Douglas L. Christian and Nathan D. Meyer
Not often does a concept's name obfuscate its meaning. "Continuing bad faith," however, is much more than its name implies. An insurer's duty of good faith is pervasive and its application to claim handling has matured into a formidable body of law. The duty is not intractable and is generally shaped by the circumstances of the claim. One circumstance … Read More
Arizona Court of Appeals Upholds Damron Agreement & Declares Facts in Stipulated Judgments Bind Insurers for Purposes of Coverage
The Arizona Court of Appeals recently upheld as valid and enforceable a Damron Agreement in which an insured and its excess insurer assigned their rights against a primary insurer. In so holding, the Court of Appeals made the significant declaration that an insurer who refuses to defend is bound for purposes of coverage by any issues determined in a stipulated judgment that underlies a Damron … Read More