DATE: Wednesday, December 2, 2020
TIME: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
ORGANIZER: Strafford Publications
This CLE webinar will examine how counsel for insurers can recognize when a third-party plaintiff is attempting to "setup" the insurer for a claim of bad faith. The panel will address what insurers can do to avoid this trap and counterclaims and relevant affirmative defenses based on the plaintiff's fraudulent conduct or misrepresentations.
An insurer that has acted in bad faith may be liable for significant extra-contractual and punitive damages. Thus, unscrupulous plaintiffs have manufactured, manipulated, and proffered settlements under conditions which the insurer must, for legitimate reasons, refuse and thereby make itself vulnerable to damages for "bad faith."
When defending bad faith claims, insurers are increasingly deploying strategies, counterclaims, and affirmative defenses to expose the plaintiff's wrongful conduct related to the claim, such as the plaintiff's failure to cooperate, failure to give proper notice of a claim, or fraud and misrepresentation.
Some courts permit insurers to assert a "bad faith setup" defense, whereby they are allowed to demonstrate that claimants employed their own bad faith setup tactics solely to obtain punitive damages. Some states permit insurers to assert a counterclaim for "reverse bad faith." When allowed, insurers are entitled to recover for a plaintiff's breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, although this approach has had limited success. Only one state expressly authorizes this defense by statute. Nonetheless, several reported cases recognize the claim, at least in dicta, and insurers continue to deploy it.
Listen as our authoritative panel of policyholder and insurer counsel discusses the latest litigation trends in defenses raised by insurers in bad faith litigation that focus on the alleged wrongful conduct of the claimant. The panel will cover bad faith setup, fraud or misrepresentation by the claimant, and the affirmative defense of reverse bad faith.