Litigation Is Often The Most Efficient Method To Resolve Commercial Disputes
At Scirocco Law, PC, our attorneys represent commercial litigants – plaintiffs and defendants – with respect to issues encompassing good faith and fair dealing, restrictive covenants, fraudulent conveyances, consumer fraud and violations of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) as well as construction defects.
Such cases are litigated both in the Law and Chancery Division, often with emergent relief being sought by one of the parties. Clients include commercial tenants, doctors, franchise owners, and consumers of commercial goods and services.
On some occasions, because of the language contained in written agreements, claims are brought before an arbitrator for binding arbitration in the interest of staying out of the court system.
Insurance Contracts: Every Contract Implies Good Faith And Fair Dealing
In the case of Wadeer v. New Jersey Manufacturers Ins. (New Jersey Supreme Court, February 2015), the court stated that every insurance contract in New Jersey contains an implied covenant of good faith, and insurance companies owe a duty of good faith to their insured in processing a first-party claim.
A claim of bad faith in a first-party claim is an intentional tort where it requires that the plaintiff show (1) the absence of a reasonable basis for denying benefits and (2) the carrier’s knowledge or reckless disregard of the lack of a reasonable basis for denying the claim. Thus, although bad faith is an intentional tort, the knowledge of a lack of reasonable basis may be inferred from a carrier’s reckless indifference to the facts.
Insurance Brokers And Professional Negligence
In New Jersey, insurance brokers owe clients a professional duty of care. An insurance broker is liable for professional negligence if the broker (1) neglects to procure the insurance (2) if the policy is void (3) if the policy is materially deficient or (4) the policy does not provide the coverage he undertook to supply. Just as important, a broker is liable for professional negligence if he fails to warn the client at once that coverage could not be obtained.
A court may only grant judgment against an insurance broker, however, where there can be no conclusion other than that the broker was “ignorant of available coverage, failed to obtain requested coverage or failed to advise to the customer of the unavailability of requested coverage.” Avery v. Arthur E. Armitage Agency, 242 N.J. Super. 293, 303 (App. Div. 1990). Quality Pro Painters, LLC v. Global Underwriters Agency, Inc. (Sup. Ct., March 2015).