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We believe insurance companies should keep their promises

Representative Cases

Several of the firm's cases have gained national recognition and publicity. (See, e.g., Snake Killer, Phoenix New Times, by Laura Laughlin, Nov. 16, 2000, an investigative article regarding the practices of State Farm Insurance, available on the web at www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2000-11-16/news/snake-killer/1) The following is a summary of some of the prominent reported and appellate cases handled by Thur & O'Sullivan:

  • Rowe v. Bankers Life & Cas. Co., 572 F.Supp.2d 1138 (D.Ariz. 2008), (case of first impression on long-term care insurance in Arizona, holding that insurance sold to provide home health care or nursing home care must provide benefits for at least 24 consecutive months and that long-term care coverage cannot be limited by misleading clauses in the insurance policy).
  • Crackel v. Allstate Ins. Co., 208 Ariz. 252, 92 P.3d 882 (App. 2004) (case of first impression in United States, finding insurer abused legal process in deterring claims by engaging in oppressive litigation practices to make it too expensive for Plaintiffs to pursue their bona fide claims).
  • Hawkins v. Allstate Ins. Co., 152 Ariz. 490, 733 P.2d 1073, cert. denied, 108 S.Ct. 212 (1987), (upholding punitive damages of $3,500,000 against Allstate for underpaying its insured's auto total loss claim by a few hundred dollars, along with evidence that this was a long-standing practice by the Company which deprived numerous policyholders of the fair value of their car – establishing a "broad scope of other acts evidence admissible in a bad faith/punitive damage case" – and punitive damage factors enumerated).
  • Franks v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., 149 Ariz. 291, 718 P.2d 193 (Ariz. App. 1985), (overturning prior cases and establishing the right to sue for bad faith in workman's compensation claims).
  • Zilisch v. State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co., 196 Ariz. 234, 995 P.2d 276, 279 (Ariz. 2000) (establishing that an insurance company cannot escape liability for bad faith by claiming that its denial of benefits was "fairly debatable").
  • Olson v. State Farm, 1CA-CV99-0172 (Memorandum Decision 2000), upholding punitive damages of $5,000,000 in an automobile property damage case because of evidence that State Farm has a practice of "unreasonably resisting and manipulating claims purely for profit."
  • Norcia v. Equitable Life Assurance Society etc., et al., 80 F.Supp. 2d 1047 (D. Ariz. 2000), a disability case, where the District Court for Arizona referred to the insurers' conduct as "disgraceful" and rejected the insurer's contention that "unemployed" could be an "occupation" at time of claim as "'pure poppycock,' utterly bereft either of textual support in the language of the insurance contract or the gloss placed on such language by any Arizona case."
  • Greenberg v. Paul Revere Life Ins. Co., et al., US District Court, Phoenix, Arizona. Bad faith suit by disabled stockbroker for wrongful termination of benefits under "own occupation" disability policy. Verdict $547,445.42 compensatory damages and $2.4 million punitive damages. Affirmed, 2004 WL 74630 (9th Cir. 2004) Thur & O'Sullivan served as co-counsel with Friedman & Rubin of Bremerton, Washington.
  • Bradshaw v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 157 Ariz. 411, 758 P.2d 1313 (Ariz. 1988), (clarifying punitive damage law in Arizona and establishing what one legal publication termed a new tort of "malicious defense" by an insurance company).
  • Maxwell v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 143 Ariz. 205, 693 P.2d 348 (Ariz. 1984), (evidence of other bad faith conduct by insurance company admissible at trial to show a pattern of bad conduct).
  • Taylor v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 175 Ariz. 148, 854 P.2d 1134 (1993) (establishing that intent of the parties and not the insurers later contentions governs the scope of a UM release).
  • Taylor v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 185 Ariz. 174, 913 P.2d 1092 (1996), (establishing the time at which the statute of limitations accrues for third-party bad faith cases in Arizona).
  • Deese v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 172 Ariz. 504, 838 P.2d 1265 (1992), (establishing that the tort of bad faith can be committed without breach of contract).
  • Lopez v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Arizona, 177 Ariz. 371, 868 P.2d 954 (1993), (establishing that the Batson Rule applies in civil cases in Arizona and that in a bad faith case, policyholders of the defendant must be excluded from the jury).

The firm of Thur & O'Sullivan has been in the forefront of insurance law in the State of Arizona for more than 25 years, protecting the rights of policyholders and their families to recover insurance benefits.

In 1980, attorney Cal Thur tried the very first insurance bad faith case in Arizona against an insurance company for failing to pay benefits to its policyholder, and since that time, the firm has been consistently represented in the appellate law books of Arizona, creating legal precedent on behalf of insurance policyholders.

Thur & O'Sullivan limits their practice to assisting insureds when their insurance company has wrongfully denied their claims, or otherwise acted unreasonably and in bad faith regarding many types of insurance coverage, including:

For a free consultation with a lawyer, either call our Phoenix, Arizona, law firm office or contact us online.

Areas of Practice Representative Cases Thur and O'Sullivan, P.C. Contact Information

Thur & O'Sullivan, P.C.
2525 E Arizona Biltmore Cir., Suite D246
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Toll Free: 888-376-8047
Phone: 602-639-4611
Fax: 602-222-9889
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Areas we serve

The Phoenix law firm of Thur & O'Sullivan, P.C. serves clients throughout Arizona, including Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Peoria, the Sun Cities communities of Sun City, Sun City West, and Sun City Grand, Chandler, Florence, Casa Grande, Apache Junction, Paradise Valley, Tucson, Kingman, Prescott, Flagstaff, and Yuma and all counties within the state including Maricopa, Pinal, Pima, and Yavapai.