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Thomas Fox v. American Family Insurance Company
Case Number: 1:20-cv-1991
Judge: Christopher A. Boyko
Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Cuyahoga County)
Defendant's Attorney: Andrea C. Wiltrout, Mark Alan Johnson, Mathew G. Drocton, Michael K. Farrell
Description: Cleveland, Ohio insurance law lawyer represented Plaintiff, who sued Defendant on a bad faith breach of contract theory claiming more than $75,000 in damages as a result of the Defendant's wrongful conduct.
Ohio recognizes bad faith breach of contract claims in which policy owners sue insurance companies that act in bad faith. The Ohio Supreme court has held that an insurer owes a duty of good faith to its insured in the processing, payment, satisfaction and settlement of the insured’s claims. Hart v. Republic Mut. Ins. Co. (1949), 152 Ohio St. 185, 87 N.E.2d 347. This duty is often referred to as the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” which automatically exists by operation of law in every insurance contract. If an insurance company violates that covenant of good faith, the insured person (or “policyholder”) may sue the company for a bad faith claim in addition to a standard breach of contract claim. The contract-tort distinction is significant because as a matter of public policy, punitive or exemplary damages are unavailable for contract claims, but are available for bad faith claims.
The claims made and defenses asserted by the parties are not available.