• Washington Supreme Court Finds Presumption of No Attorney-Client Privilege in the Claims Adjusting Process Regarding First Party Bad Faith Action
  • March 8, 2013
  • Law Firm: Morris Polich Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • Coming on the heels of its decision in Staples v. Allstate Ins. Co., (No. 86413-6, 2013 WL 258877) where it held that substantial prejudice must be shown before a carrier can deny a claim due to the insured’s failure to submit to an Examination Under Oath, the Washington Supreme Court has handed first party insurers another setback. In their ruling in Cedell v. Farmers Insurance Company of Washington (No. 85366-5, Wash. Feb. 21, 2013), the Washington Supreme Court held that there is a presumption of no attorney-client privilege regarding discoverability of the claim file in a first party bad faith action. However, they also held that the insurer can overcome this by showing that its counsel was not engaged in the tasks of investigating and evaluating or processing the claim.