Counsel Investigating Coverage Can be Sued for Invasion of Privacy

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Attorneys Christopher Kendrick and Valerie A. Moore discuss Strawn v. Morris, Polich & Purdy.

January 28, 2019
Christopher Kendrick & Valerie A. Moore - Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP

In Strawn v. Morris, Polich & Purdy (No. A150562, filed 1/4/19), a California appeals court held that policyholders could state a claim for invasion of privacy against an insurer’s coverage counsel and law firm, where the counsel had disseminated inadvertently produced tax returns to forensic accountants while evaluating coverage.

In Strawn, a couple’s home was destroyed by fire and the husband was prosecuted for arson, but the criminal case was dropped. Notwithstanding, their insurance claim was denied on the ground that the husband intentionally set the fire and fraudulently concealed his actions. In addition to the insurance company, the insureds also named the carrier’s coverage counsel and his firm in the ensuing bad faith lawsuit, alleging causes of action for elder financial abuse and invasion of privacy.

Reprinted courtesy of Christopher Kendrick, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Valerie A. Moore, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP
Mr. Kendrick may be contacted at ckendrick@hbblaw.com
Ms. Moore may be contacted at vmoore@hbblaw.com



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