Archive by Month: August 2021

Defending a Bad Faith Claim in Georgia? Expert Testimony Can Support Summary Judgment

By John V. Burch August 5, 2021 Articles

A claim made against a surety is often accompanied by a bad faith demand. There are many defenses to bad faith claims, but here is one more to add to your arsenal in Georgia: a surety can use expert opinion to support the dismissal of a bad faith claim on summary judgment. A recent case granting summary judgment on bad faith to an insurer on a property damage claim is instructive. Bad faith claims under insurance policies are governed by O.C.G.A. § 33-4-6, and Georgia’s courts have said the rules under that statute are applicable to claims made against sureties under O.C.G.A. § 10-7-30, the exclusive basis for extra-contractual damages against sureties in the state. The Georgia Court of Appeals in Montgomery v. Traveler’s Home & Marine Ins. Co., 859 S.E.2d 130 (Ga. App. 2021), reconsideration denied (July 13, 2021), recently set out the framework for when an expert’s opinion to an insurer will support a grant of summary judgment denying bad faith.

Read More