Helmsing Leach partners Joe Babington and Ryan Luna recently secured an order dismissing one of the firm’s insurance company clients from a federal court action. The federal lawsuit alleged that the insurance company had committed negligence and wantonness in handling settlement of claims arising out of a serious automobile accident and sought recovery of compensatory and punitive damages. The federal court action included allegations that the insurance company had failed to honor rights under Alabama Code 34-3–61 (the attorney’s lien statute). The federal court rejected all claims against the firm’s client and granted the insurance company’s motion to dismiss. The court found that the plaintiff—the first law firm purportedly representing the party injured in the automobile accident—was not owed any duty by the insurance company, including under the attorney’s lien statute, because there was no action or settlement at the time the injured party dismissed the plaintiff law firm and employed a second attorney who settled the claims arising out of the automobile accident.
Helmsing Leach has an active practice group representing insurers in coverage, bad faith, and extra-contractual insurance litigation. For more information, contact Ryan Luna, Joe Babington, or Casey Pipes.