Recent Court Decisions/Appellate Results
Navigators Ins. Co. v. First Mercury Ins. Co., 1CA-CV-19-0744 (Memorandum Decision filed October 6, 2020).
$1.65 million judgment for RG&M’s client affirmed by unanimous panel of Division One of Arizona Court of Appeals. The Appellate Court rejected numerous claimed errors from appellant primary insurer and affirmed the jury’s finding that the primary insurer acted in bad faith when it rejected multiple opportunities to settle a claim against its insured.
The evidence presented by RG&M at trial more than adequately allowed the jury to have found that the primary insurer did not adequately account for the strength of the underlying claimant’s case or the financial risk to which it would expose the excess insurer if settlement was not reached. As such, the primary insurer “knew it was not acting as a prudent insurer would”.
The Court also awarded RG&M’s clients its attorneys’ fees on appeal. The case has been pending for five years.
Employers Mutual Cas. Co. v. Doreen N. McPaul, et. al. No. 19-15835, (9th Cir. Memorandum Dec. filed May 11, 2020).
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision in favor of RG&M’s client, holding that the Navajo Nation tribal court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over EMC, who insured contractors that worked on a gas station located on tribal land.
Navigators Ins. Co. v. First Mercury Ins. Co., Maricopa Co. Sup. Ct. (verdict rendered May 13, 2019).
Million dollar unanimous verdict in favor of client as against primary insurer for bad faith failure to settle claim against mutual insured. With interest and attorneys’ fees awarded, judgment in favor of client entered for $1.63 million.
Employers Mutual Cas. Co. v. Navajo Nation, 381 F. Supp. 3d 1144, (D. Ariz., April 4, 2019)
In a significant victory for insurance company client, court determined that tribal court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over non-tribal entity where insurer did not insure tribal member or entity nor had it entered onto or conducted any activity on tribal land.
Teufel v. American Family Ins. Co. 244 Ariz. 383, (2018). Arizona Supreme Court affirms in part Court of Appeals decision; insurer required to provide defense to insured; contractual liability exclusion ambiguous and therefore construed against the insurer.
Teufel v. American Family Ins. Co., 2017 WL 1882330 (Ariz. App. May 9, 2017). Insured homeowner prevails; insurer required to defend claim against insured where buyer of insured’s home sustained damages when hillside collapsed)
Stankova v. Met. Prop. & Cas. Co., 788 F.3d 1012 (9th Cir. 2015). Important victory for Arizona homeowners who suffer damage from mudslides following wildfires)
Cases of Interest