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Introduced Version House Bill 2489 History

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hb2489 intr
H. B. 2489


(By Delegates Frich, Frederick, Tansill,

Hamilton, Ellem, Trump and Stalnaker)

[Introduced February 17, 2005; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §33-11-4a , relating to limiting third-party actions in unfair trade practices suits against insurers, their employees, representatives and agents .

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated
§33-11-4a , to read as follows:
ARTICLE 11. UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES.

§33-11-4a. Limitations of third-party causes of action.
The following provisions apply to all third-party claims and actions against an insurer for a violation of this article:
(a) A cause of action by a third-party for a violation of this article does not arise and a complaint may not be filed until the underlying action or claim is resolved and all appeals are exhausted.
(b) A complaint alleging a third-party cause of action under the provisions of this article shall contain specific factual allegations setting forth the violations of this article which constitute a general business practice. Any third-party complaint failing to specifically allege each fact necessary to support a prima facie cause of action shall be dismissed by the court.
(c) An alleged specific violation of this article may not be admitted into evidence in more than three separate third-party civil actions in order to establish a general business practice proscribed by the provisions of this article. The burden of proof is on the defendant to demonstrate to the court that the alleged violation has been received into evidence in at least three other actions.
(d) Neither an insurance company representative nor an agent of an insurance company may be made a defendant in a third-party action unless the representative or agent was directly involved in an alleged violation or alleged violations of this article and participated in or approved any act or failure to act which is a violation of this article. The activities of any insurance company representative or agent shall be specifically alleged in the complaint or the insurance company representative or agent shall be dismissed by the court as a party to the action.
(e) Unless reversed on appeal, a judgment in favor of a defendant in any civil action extinguishes all related claims and actions for violation of the provisions of this article.
(f) The settlement of any claim or action may include settlement of all potential third-party claims or actions which are related thereto or which may arise therefrom. A release given in consideration for settlement of a claim or action may include a release of any and all persons who may be potentially liable for violations of this article arising out of or related to the underlying claim or action which was settled and released.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to limit third-party actions in unfair trade practices suits against insurers, their employees, representatives and agents.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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