Bad Faith & Punitive Damages


The financial exposure associated with bad faith litigation is widely recognized by agents, claims managers, executives and others immersed in the insurance industry. However, relatively few Ohio law firms — even among those that handle other forms of insurance defense — make rigorous defense against bad faith allegations and punitive damage awards a specific focus.


You will find the relevant, in-depth knowledge and extensive experience your case demands at Gallagher, Gams, Tallan, Barnes & Littrell, L.L.P. High-value insurance defense has been a core strength of our practice for decades. We will recognize the gravity of your case and attack it with our full complement of investigative and legal resources.Knowing whether and how to obtain a bifurcation of the bad faith claims and how to obtain a stay of discovery as to the extra-contractual bad faith allegations is key in these type cases. If faced with bad faith allegations, you need representation that can immediately tackle these procedural issues. We excel in doing so.Under Ohio law, bad faith is a potential consideration in regard to first-party insurance claims only. Statutory language includes the standard that the insurer’s claim denial or other actions, such as intentional or negligent misrepresentation, must be “arbitrary and capricious” or made with “reasonable justification” to constitute bad faith. With that said, lawsuits hinge on the facts surrounding the event in question, evidence admitted or excluded, and whether the insurer had a reasonable basis to challenge or deny a claim.


Successful bad faith defense requires a lawyer who can incisively interpret every policy provision. It also requires an in-depth understanding of all relevant laws, insurance regulations and administrative rules. Our attorneys’ knowledge and experience cover the spectrum of:

  • Bad faith allegations and punitive damage awards sought in cases involving, for example, uninsured/underinsured motorist (UI/UM) claims, MedPay disputes, construction claims and property damage claims due to fire, flood and storms

  • Essential strategies associated with invocation of attorney-client privilege, obtaining protective orders and stays of discovery, and admitting or excluding evidence via in camera inspection

  • Rigorous preparation of claims representatives, managers, supervisors or others for required depositions, with emphasis on specific policy language and how to show that due diligence was exercised

From punitive damage caps to other crucial aspects of current Ohio insurance laws, we possess the knowledge you need when facing a high-value insurance dispute. Our firm stands always prepared to try your case or pursue alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in any of Ohio’s 88 counties.

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