Bad Faith and Extracontractual Litigation

The issue of how an insurer handles a claim or a request for coverage has become as important as the threshold issue of whether there is coverage at all. While most insurance litigation concerns issues of contract law, insurers often face claims in tort or under statutes alleging bad faith — either in interpreting the insurance contract or in the manner the claim was handled.

The attorneys at Goldberg Segalla believe that defending such a claim requires proactive management from day one. We practice early motion practice to dismiss bad faith and extracontractual claims at the onset of litigation, thereby ensuring the proper confines of discovery. At the onset, we identify and interview key employees, assess all documentation, and involve necessary experts.

Our practice includes one of the foremost bad faith expert witnesses. Thomas F. Segalla, editor of Couch on Insurance, has testified in more than 40 different jurisdictions as an expert witness on bad faith. Some of our recent matters include:

  • Successful denial of a motion to amend a complaint seeking to add bad faith claims in a large environmental allocation claim
  • Summary judgment on third-party bad faith claims where the court reasoned that an erroneous coverage denial is not necessarily bad faith
  • Dismissal of first-party extracontractual and consequential loss claims
  • Successfully asserting that any bad faith claims and discovery regarding these claims must await an initial finding of coverage
  • Assisting insurers in extracontractual claims arising from large natural catastrophes, including Hurricane Katrina