Insurance Law Section
ILS Events Calendar

Oct

29

Council Meeting

Austin

Nov

12

19th Annual Insurance Law Institute

November 13-14, 2014, Dallas, TX (More)

Nov

14

Annual Section Meeting

8:30 am (In conjunction with the Insurance Law Institute.)

Why Personal Injury Attorneys, Both Plaintiff And Defense, Should Read The U.C.C.
by Judith Ann Kostura

 On May 16, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in McAllen Hosps., LP v. State Farm County Mut. Ins. Co., (Tex. 2014) No. 12-0983. The Court held that a release given to a liability insurer by an injured accident victim is invalid when that accident victim does not pay a hospital lien. The Court refused, however, to shed much light on the remedy available to the scorned hospital.

Two injured people, Jose Gil and Melinda Hernandez, settled with the tortfeasor, Carlos Benavidez, insured by State Farm, after a collision. Gil and Hernandez incurred hospital bills of $53,564 and $1,281, respectively, but settled for only $5,200 and $2,100. State Farm, aware of the hospital lien, named the injured plaintiff and McAllen Hospital on each of the settlement checks. The injured claimants endorsed and deposited the checks without obtaining the hospital’s endorsement and without paying the hospital bills. After the hospital was stiffed by each patient, the hospital sued State Farm to recover payment up to the amounts of the settlement checks; the carrier refused to pay again, arguing that it had already protected the hospital (and therefore itself) by naming the hospital as a payee.

The trial court sided with State Farm on summary judgment, which the appeals court affirmed, but the Supreme Court reversed and...(Continue)

 
TDI News
TDI Announces Top 10 Insurance Fraud Cases of 2013
TDI—
More than $10.3 million in insurance fraud was identified in criminal cases referred for prosecution by the TDI Fraud Unit in 2013.
TDI Issues Bulletin Regarding Roofers and Insurance Adjusters
TDI—
TDI has issued a bulletin to insurance companies, insurance adjusters, and roofers, reminding them of prohibitions related to public insurance adjusters.
Rule Aims to Assist Injured Employees Seeking Lifetime Income Benefits
TDI—
The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is accepting public comment on a rule that will assist injured employees seeking Lifetime Income Benefits in the Texas workers’ compensation system.
 
Recent Decisions
Notice after Arbitration Award Equates to Prejudice; Agent Liability Claim Survives  
C.L. Thomas, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co. Tx 13- Corpus/Edbrg 9/11/14—
Lack of timely notice jeopardizes insured's coverage, but claim against agent survives for failure to advise of notice requirements
Independent Contractor Exclusion Upheld  
Preferred Contractors Insurance Co. v. Finnels 5th Cir 9/10/14—
CGL insurer escapes liability to independent contractor by application of an "Action Over Endorsement"
Insurer Fails to Properly Assert Claims against Fellow Insurer  
Sentry Select Insurance Co. v. Home State County Mutual Insurance Co. 5th Cir 9/9/14—
Insurer's delay in asserting claims against another insurer until after final judgment potentially costs it recovery of settlement
Insurer's Motion to Disqualify Counsel Fails  
In re Colony Insurance Co. Tx 5-Dallas 9/2/14—
Attorney's prior representation of insurer in coverage disputes does not preclude representation against insurer in unrelated matter
Vacancy Provision Upheld by Supreme Court of Texas  
Greene v. Farmers Insurance Exchange Tx Sup 8/29/14—
Supreme Court affirms appellate court's application of vacancy provision; Justices Boyd and Willett concur
Pleading Shortfall Costs Insured Bad Faith Judgment  
Texas Mutual Insurance Co. v. Palmer Tx 5-Dallas 8/29/14—
Insured's bad faith claim against Texas Mutual falls short when amended pleading lacks claims for violations of Insurance Code
Punitive Damages Not Excluded (and Maybe Not Covered) under CGL Policy  
Tesco Corp. v. Steadfast Insurance Co. Tx 1-Houston 8/28/14—
Court applies Texas law and finds coverage for punitive damages not specifically excluded under CGL policy, but insured fails to prove coverage allowed by public policy
Court of Appeals Finds Trial Court Lacked Jurisdiction to Order Payments  
Texas Department of Insurance v. De Los Santos Tx 4-San Antonio 8/27/14—
Court lacked jurisdiction to order Subsequent Injury Fund to pay lifetime income benefits
Insurer Obtains Writ of Mandamus on Insured's Motion for New Trial  
In re United Services Automobile Association Tx 1-Houston 8/21/14—
Appellate court directs trial court to vacate its order granting a motion for new trial
Insurer Fails to Carry Burden to Sever Multiple Homeowner Claims  
In re Hochheim Prairie Farm Mutual Insurance Association Tx 3-Austin 8/21/14—
Insurer's writ of mandamus rejected in attempt to sever homeowner's individual claims arising out of the 2011 Bastrop fires
More Recent Decisions
 
 
Section News
Membership Directory Added to Website

The Insurance Law Section's website now includes a dynamic directory of section members.  The directory allows members to find each other but has also been designed to provide me... (Continued)

More Section News