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News Posted on July 11, 2011

Professor Hunt Comments on Appellate Decision for Insurance Journal

Professor John P. Hunt commented for the Insurance Journal on a June 15 decision by the California Court of Appeals that reinstated a lawsuit filed by an Oakland man against his insurance company. 

Under a 1988 state Supreme Court decision, civil actions arising from unfair claims practices were left to the state insurance commissioner to litigate pursuant to the Unfair Insurance Practices Act, but the appellate court ruling holds that insureds may sue so long as it not under the UIPA.

Professor Hunt said the decision takes the "interpretive approach" that any legal wrongdoing can be the predicate for a private action under California's Unfair Competition Law, "barring an expressed provision to the contrary."

"If the majority's approach to interpreting the UCL together with other California statutes is followed in other cases, there could be a noticeable increase in the volume of litigation," he added.

Professor Hunt's primary area of scholarly interest is the regulation of financial markets and institutions, including the role of credit-rating agencies in capital regulation and potential changes to their regulation that could mitigate the effects of financial bubbles.

Insurance Journal article