Class Action Defense - Insurance

Overview

As a go-to law firm for class action matters for insurance industry giants and regional carriers alike, BakerHostetler has defended hundreds of class actions against insurers on claims involving property and casualty, life, title, collateral protection and other types of insurance.

Our Insurance Class Action team is adept at managing complex, national class actions, statewide matters, and individual “opt-out” cases because our attorneys have extensive class action procedural knowledge and a thorough understanding of the insurance industry, including coverage types, claims adjustment procedures and related laws and regulations.

Many times, we have successfully defended alleged class claims prior to discovery or have substantially limited discovery prior to dispositive motions. Other times we have succeeded in having the class allegations stricken from the case at the outset. And on those occasions when it is best to settle, we are experienced in creatively resolving cases as inexpensively and efficiently as possible. Our attorneys are no stranger to the courtroom and have successfully battled class allegations in Circuit Courts of Appeal, federal district courts and state trial, appellate and supreme courts.

COVID Insurance Coverage Litigation

Since 2020, BakerHostetler has emerged at the forefront of COVID insurance coverage litigation, and we are actively fighting alleged class actions across the country on behalf of national carriers challenging the denial of business interruption coverage for losses claimed to have been suffered due to COVID.

Select Experience

  • Defending a national insurance company in 39 alleged class actions across the country challenging the denial of business interruption coverage for losses claimed to have suffered due to COVID. Cases are pending in Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
  • Obtained summary judgment for an insurance company in a putative class action challenging the system used to value total loss vehicle claims. Insurance carriers around the country use the same or comparable valuation system and are defending similar class actions. The court granted summary judgment in the insurance company’s favor on all claims, including breach of contract, bad faith, and unfair and deceptive trade practices act violations.
  • Obtained summary judgment for an insurance company in a consumer class action alleging under-valuations and underpayments of actual cash value on property and loss claims. The court granted both motions in limine to exclude plaintiffs’ experts, and granted summary judgment on all plaintiffs’ claims, which mooted their motion for class cert which was therefore also denied.
  • Obtained reversal of certification of a class of more than 44,000 insureds against State Farm Insurance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Plaintiffs filed a petition for writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied. The seminal decision explained and applied several principles of certification of a class action under Rule 23(b)(2) not previously addressed in prior authorities and authoritatively rejected the use of injunctive relief on a class basis for consumer claims.
  • Obtained affirmance of a summary judgment in favor of Chicago Title, which was accused by a certified class of Florida homeowners of overcharging homeowners for title insurance in their mortgage refinance transactions. The Third District Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court’s summary judgment that language in a Florida regulation did not impose an obligation on title insurers or their agents to conduct such a search or to disclose the availability of a lower reissue rate to the borrower in the refinance transaction. Appellant filed a motion for rehearing en banc, which was denied.
  • Defended three consolidated, alleged class actions against State Farm asserting claims relating to non-duplication clauses applied to benefits under medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage. A case dispositive certified question of law was accepted by Ohio Supreme Court and answered affirmatively in favor of client, reversing decades-old Ohio Supreme Court precedent that allowed insureds to recover for the same medical expenses twice under the medical payments and uninsured motorists coverages.
  • Defending multiple national and regional insurance carriers in more than 15 single and multi-state class actions across the country, asserting claims based on depreciation of labor and of other nonmaterial when adjusting personal and commercial lines’ structural property damage claims.

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Experience

  • Defending a national insurance company in 39 alleged class actions across the country challenging the denial of business interruption coverage for losses claimed to have suffered due to COVID. Cases are pending in Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
  • Obtained summary judgment for an insurance company in a putative class action challenging the system used to value total loss vehicle claims. Insurance carriers around the country use the same or comparable valuation system and are defending similar class actions. The court granted summary judgment in the insurance company’s favor on all claims, including breach of contract, bad faith, and unfair and deceptive trade practices act violations.
  • Obtained summary judgment for an insurance company in a consumer class action alleging under-valuations and underpayments of actual cash value on property and loss claims. The court granted both motions in limine to exclude plaintiffs’ experts, and granted summary judgment on all plaintiffs’ claims, which mooted their motion for class cert which was therefore also denied.
  • Obtained reversal of certification of a class of more than 44,000 insureds against State Farm Insurance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Plaintiffs filed a petition for writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied. The seminal decision explained and applied several principles of certification of a class action under Rule 23(b)(2) not previously addressed in prior authorities and authoritatively rejected the use of injunctive relief on a class basis for consumer claims.
  • Obtained affirmance of a summary judgment in favor of Chicago Title, which was accused by a certified class of Florida homeowners of overcharging homeowners for title insurance in their mortgage refinance transactions. The Third District Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court’s summary judgment that language in a Florida regulation did not impose an obligation on title insurers or their agents to conduct such a search or to disclose the availability of a lower reissue rate to the borrower in the refinance transaction. Appellant filed a motion for rehearing en banc, which was denied.
  • Defended three consolidated, alleged class actions against State Farm asserting claims relating to non-duplication clauses applied to benefits under medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage. A case dispositive certified question of law was accepted by Ohio Supreme Court and answered affirmatively in favor of client, reversing decades-old Ohio Supreme Court precedent that allowed insureds to recover for the same medical expenses twice under the medical payments and uninsured motorists coverages.
  • Defending multiple national and regional insurance carriers in more than 15 single and multi-state class actions across the country, asserting claims based on depreciation of labor and of other nonmaterial when adjusting personal and commercial lines’ structural property damage claims.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: Litigation
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio) – Band 2 (2020)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Colorado) – Recognized (2019)
    • Retail: National – Band 3 (2020)
  • Law360: Class Action "Practice Group of the Year" (2014)
  • LA Daily Journal: Top Appellate Reversals of 2014
  • Corporate Counsel® magazine guide to in-house law departments: "Go-to Law Firm" for litigation.
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2020 BTI Client Service 30 for the sixth consecutive year.

News

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In The Blogs

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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Eleventh Circuit Stands Firm – No Incentive Awards for Class Representatives
By Kamran B. Ahmadian
August 12, 2022
Nearly two years after it issued its initial decision in Johnson v. NPAS Sols., LLC, in which it held incentive awards for class representatives to be per se unlawful, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied a...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Florida Requires Concrete Injury For Standing - Class Action Defense
By Joel Griswold
July 14, 2022
On July 13, 2022, the Florida District Court of Appeal for the Fourth District affirmed an order dismissing a putative class action filed under the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) for lack of standing. Southam v...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
The Demand Curve Problem for UCL Class Actions
By Brian A. Troyer
June 1, 2022
A recent opinion from a California federal court, Mier v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. et al., No. 8:20-cv-01979-DOC-ADS, slip op. (C.D. Cal. May 9, 2022),touches on an aspect of econometric modeling that class action defense counsel should...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
BakerHostetler Releases Insurance Class Action Update
By Mark A. Johnson
May 19, 2022
The Class Action Defense team released its Insurance Quarterly Report covering the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. Included in the report are updates and analyses about property and casualty class action lawsuits...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
The U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Regarding Whether State Business Registration Requirements Can Create General Personal Jurisdiction
By Ali I. Haque
May 3, 2022
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits a state from requiring a corporation to consent to personal jurisdiction as a condition to doing business in the state...
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BakerHostetler's Insurance Class Action Quarterly Report