Colorado Bad Faith Case Studies
Travelers Insurance Co. v. Savio
Travelers Insurance Co. v. Savio, 706 P.2d 1258 (Colo. 1985)
The Colorado Supreme Court recognized a cause of action for bad faith processing of a worker’s compensation claim. The court held that the tort of bad faith in a first-party context requires proof of unreasonable conduct and knowledge that the conduct is unreasonable or a reckless disregard of the fact that the conduct is unreasonable.
Farmers Group, Inc. v. Williams
Farmers Group, Inc. v. Williams, 805 P.2d 419 (Colo. 1991)
The Colorado Supreme Court held that a Colorado state statute did not abrogate the common-law remedy available to the public in favor of an insurance company’s private interest.
Giampapa v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co.
Giampapa v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co., 64 P.3d 230, 234 (Colo. 2003)
In this case, Giampapa was rear ended while he was stopped at a stop sign. After the initial impact, a second vehicle crashed into the first vehicle, causing another collision. Giampapa suffered numerous serious injuries. His automobile insurer, American Family, was advised that his physicians determined that Giampapa would be better off with a treadmill and weight machine for home use, instead of traveling approximately sixty miles, round trip, to attend each of the prescribed physical therapy sessions. American Family repeatedly refused to pay for such items and, in addition, failed to pay some of Giampapa’s medical care provider bills and paid other bills months late. As a result, Giampapa received numerous collection notices from his medical providers about his failure to pay for their services. These events had a devastating impact on Giampapa’s life. He ultimately filed suit against American Family for failing to make timely medical provider payments and for failing to pay for reasonable and necessary medical equipment. The jury found that American Family had willfully and wantonly breached its contract with Giampapa, had willfully and wantonly failed to pay $ 9,336.74 in medical care provider bills in a timely fashion, and the jury found that American Family had breached the insurance contract in tortious bad faith, entitling Giampapa to economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Cary v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co.
Cary v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., 68 P.3d 462 (Colo. 2003)
The Colorado Supreme Court, sitting en banc, reinstated a tort cause of action against insurance company administrators for breaching their duty to act in good faith when investigating and servicing insurance claims.
Goodson v. American Standard Insurance Company of Wisconsin
Goodson v. American Standard Insurance Company of Wisconsin, 89 P. 3d 409 (2004)
The Colorado Supreme Court held that in a tort claim against an insurance company for breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, the plaintiff may recover damages for emotional distress without proving substantial property or economic loss.
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