Bad Faith Litigation
Having the largest insurance litigation practice in Georgia for decades, several of our attorneys are seasoned counselors who can effectively guide claim professionals in the ways to effectively handle the interests of both insureds and carriers, and to meet the handling “bad faith” standards imposed by law. We are well versed in extracontractual and bad faith handling and have a proven track record of providing effective, real‑time litigation tested, sound and successful advice, counsel and representation.
Increasingly, demanding policyholders and insureds as well as third‑party claimants by assignment have initiated litigation that “second-guesses” insurance carriers for their claim handling, which often was made in difficult, sometimes intractable circumstances. Historically, third‑party extracontractual liability has been focused on alleged improper professional claim handling in two areas: failure to make an appropriate and timely settlement and the wrongful failure to defend or defend competently and properly. We are skilled in this arena, having litigated these substantive areas successfully through trial and appellate courts, both state and federal, in Georgia, Alabama and adjacent states. Additionally, we are familiar with emerging areas of extracontractual liability — consequential damages, privacy issues and derivative responsibility for alleged inadequate and improper defense of actions.
Our partners have successfully represented the interests of a variety of carriers on extracontractual matters for decades for, among others, the largest personal lines carrier in Georgia, one of the largest automobile carriers in Georgia, and national and global carriers involved in high‑limit, complicated policies involving more than the garden variety of disputes. Our attorneys can handle emerging situations and advise clients on appropriate, professional claim handling decisions. Often, litigation thus can be avoided. If not, proactive litigation typically takes the form of proactive declaratory judgment proceedings, timely initiated interpleaders or, in the case of multiple complex issues, suits “in the nature of an interpleader” that resolve third‑party extracontractual disputes. We know where “safe harbors” from extracontractual risk are and, hence, can readily guide insurers into same.