Relying Upon Improper Exclusion to Deny Coverage Allows Bad Faith Claim to Survive Summary Judgment

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Tred Eyerly practices law in Honolulu, Hawaii, and focuses on insurance coverage issues.

December 4, 2018
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

The insurer was successful on summary judgment in establishing it correctly denied coverage for collapse, but its motion was denied regarding the insureds' bad faith claim. Jones v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153102 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 7, 2018).

The insureds' retaining wall collapsed. They tendered to State Farm under their homeowners policy. An engineer retained by State Farm determined that the wall buckled due to "excessive lateral earth pressure from retained soils behind the wall." The parties agreed that the soil, saturated by water from frequent rain, grew too heavy for the retaining wall to bear, causing the collapse.

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