Don Beattie and Nile Hicks recently tried an insurance bad faith case to jury trial in Iowa federal court in Sioux City, Iowa. The jury returned a finding that the Defendant insurance company committed bad faith in the handling of our client’s crop-hail insurance claim. The jury awarded damages of $1,532,700, including $32,700 in compensatory damages and $1.5 Million in bad faith punitive damages. The verdict is one of a handful of reported cases where a jury in Iowa has come back with a finding of bad faith conduct of an insurance company.
The tort of bad faith derives itself of the implied term in insurance contracts that an insurance company must deal with its insured in good faith and fair dealing. As you likely know from purchasing insurance, the insurance company writes the insurance policy, controls the terms of the policy, and is responsible for the proper handling of claims made under the insurance policy. Because of this structure, Iowa recognizes that implied into an insurance contract is the term that an insurance company will deal with its insured in good faith. A breach of that duty is often referred to as “bad faith.”
The Beattie Law Firm has handled many cases involving claims of insurance bad faith. This is the second jury verdict for the firm in recent years in federal court in Iowa against an insurance company that has acted in bad faith. The Beattie Law Firm has also handled many bad faith cases that have resulted in fair and just settlements for our clients. These cases cover many different types of insurance policies, including workers’ compensation, crop-hail insurance, and general liability policies. If you believe that you may have a claim for insurance bad faith, please do not hesitate to reach out to us, and we will discuss the matter with you.