Cook and Zenor Secure Summary Judgment on Insurance Bad Faith Claim

Posted on: February 6th, 2020

On November 24, 2013, Plaintiffs suffered a fire loss at a large storage facility.  Following an in-depth review of Plaintiffs’ claim, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company denied the claim based on Plaintiffs’ failures to comply with the Policy.  Following this denial, Plaintiffs filed suit, alleging State Farm had no reasonable basis to deny this claim and that this denial was in bad faith.  Plaintiffs’ claimed losses in excess of one million dollars and requested punitive damages.  Following a motion for summary judgment by State Farm, the District Court held that State Farm had a reasonable basis for denying this claim.  In holding the denial was reasonable, the Court noted that an insurance carrier may rely on evidence favorable to the insurer’s position.  The Court agreed with the arguments made by Cook and Zenor that State Farm had a reasonable basis for denying the claim.  The Court dismissed Plaintiffs’ bad faith claim and claim for punitive damages.

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