"IFCA" is the State of Washington's Insurance Fair Conduct Act. The Supreme Court of Washington has now ruled that IFCA does not permit a private cause of action. In other words, the Supreme Court of Washington ruled that IFCA does not authorize an implied cause of action. Perez-Crisantos v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., ___ Wash. __ ___, 389 P.3d 476 (2017).
Perez-Crisantos involved a lawsuit for coverage and alleged violation of IFCA by an underinsured motorist (UIM) carrier. The Supreme Court held that IFCA allows such actions only where the record evidence displays allegations of an unreasonable denial of coverage or benefits, which is an area where the statute permits lawsuits to be filed to enforce its provisions.
The decision has already been distinguished in Washington. Bauman v. American Commerce Ins. Co., NO. C15-1909 BJR, 2017 WL 635777 (W.D. Wash. February 16, 2017) (in which a U.S. District Judge inadvertently mis-labelled the Supreme Court's decision, "Perez-Cristanos").
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