Bad Faith Defense

Walters Richardson represents some of the nation’s largest insurance companies in bad faith disputes such as breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, institutional bad faith, violations of the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, and declaratory judgment actions in Kentucky’s state and federal courts.  Our attorneys work with adjustors and in house counsel to protect the interests of the insurance carriers.

Representative Matters

Walters Richardson represented an insurance carrier in the successful appeal of a District Court Declaratory Judgment Action on procedural and substantive grounds. The claimant in the underlying action had sought coverage under a treatment center's liability coverage for an allegedly inappropriate sexual relationship with a therapist. On appeal, the claimant challenged the District Court's decision to exercise the jurisdiction over this appeal which granted it under the federal Declaratory Judgment Act. She further contended that the District Court erred in concluding that the sexual affair with her therapist was outside the therapist's scope of employment as a matter of Kentucky law. The Appellate Court held that the District Court did not abuse its discretion in exercising jurisdiction over the insurer's declaratory judgment action. The Court also agreed with the District Court's conclusion that engaging in sexual activities with a patient was not within the scope of employment of a therapist and thus were not covered under the insurance policy.  Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Flowers, 513 F.3d 546 (6th Cir. Ky. 2008).

Walters Richardson attorneys represented an insurance carrier in the successful enforcement of a coverage denial based on a pollution exclusion in a petroleum distributor's insurance policy. The court held: "Hardy Oil's claim involves a classic environmental catastrophe that led to a government-ordered cleanup. As Kentucky courts have recognized, these are exactly the type of situations that the pollution exclusion historically sought to exclude from coverage. Therefore, the pollution exclusion is not ambiguous as applied to the factual circumstances of this case, and Hardy Oil cannot claim coverage under the Liability Policy." An associated extra-contractual claim was successfully resolved as a result.  Hardy Oil Co. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4760 (E.D. Ky. Jan. 11, 2013).