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May 12, 2017

John G. O'Neill

John O’Neill writes on choice-of-law questions in insurance bad-faith litigation

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In the May 2017 issue of Defense Research Institute’s “For The Defense,” Sugarman Rogers partner John O’Neill discusses the important choice-of-law questions that often arise in insurance bad-faith lawsuits. Conflicts exist between states, John observes, on such potentially dispositive issues as whether a third-party claimant may sue an insurer for bad faith, what conduct by an insurer will permit recovery, and what damages may be awarded. Courts often seek to resolve these conflicts by, first, deciding whether to look to the choice-of-law principles for tort or contract cases, but the answer to this question can be unpredictable. The majority of jurisdictions then follow the approach of the ALI Restatement on conflicts, which involves consideration of various “contacts” with the competing jurisdictions and of policy implications. John offers a thorough analysis of cases resolving conflicts issues in the bad-faith context, and gives practical advice for insurers and their counsel on dealing with this important subject.

Read the full article here: Choice of Law in Bad Faith Claims