MARCH 2016 BAD FAITH CASES: COURT USES ADVISORY JURY IN PROCESS OF DECIDING POLICY RESCISSION CLAIM (Western District)

In H. J. Heinz Company v. Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company, the court addressed the carrier’s rescission claim, and employed an advisory jury prior to reaching its conclusions.  Interestingly, the court agreed with the advisory jury that there had been some level of misrepresentation in the application process, but differed from the jury in finding the insured’s affirmative defenses on waiver unavailing.  As the case was governed by New York law, we are not including a detailed analysis, but post this solely to note the use of an advisory jury.

Date of Decision: February 1, 2016

H.J. Heinz Co. v. Starr Surplus Lines Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11737 (W.D. Pa. Feb. 1, 2016) (Schwab, J.)