State: 
Caifornia
Year: 
2017
Issue: 
Bad Faith Failure to Settle

 

UP submitted comments to the California Judicial Council in response to proposed changes to California Civil Jury Instruction 2234 - Bad Faith (Third Party)—Refusal to Accept Reasonable Settlement Within Liability Policy Limits—Essential Factual Elements.

UP pointed out four areas where the instruction needs revision: (1) the instruction should be modified when the underlying proceeding at issue in the bad faith case is something other than a traditional lawsuit; (2) "Policy limits" should be defined as the highest amount available under the policy [or if there are multiple available policies, the total amount of insurance available under all such policies] for the claim against the plaintiff; (3) the instruction should be modified so as to not confuse and mislead the jury into finding bad faith failure to settle arises only if there has been an excess judgment; and (4) the instruction should make clear that the insurer need not have affirmatively rejected a reasonable demand in order to be found liable for bad faith failure to settle. 

 

Author: 
UP's comments were authored pro bono by David B. Goodwin, Esq. and Michael Greenberg, Esq. of Covington and Burling LLP