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Copyright (c) 2011 Arkansas Law Review, Inc.
Arkansas Law Review

ARTICLE: A Survey of Bad Faith Insurance Tort Cases in Arkansas


Arkansas Law Review

64 Ark. L. Rev. 853


Nathan Price Chaney*


This article surveys the tort of bad faith against insurance companies in Arkansas. From the first case against an insurance company mentioning bad faith in 1906, 1 Arkansas courts have developed both first-and third-party torts in approximately 130 cases against insurers dealing with the breach of the implied duty of good faith inherent in every contract. The Arkansas Legislature stepped in as well, adding penalties against insurers for requiring policyholders to litigate against their insurers for coverage issues. 2 Today, practitioners have guidance from caselaw in Arkansas and around the country on how insurers can avoid bad faith claims by communicating with their insureds to help guarantee that those insureds are treated fairly.


A. Illustration
Drunk Driver Dale drives his pickup truck eastbound on I-30 through a construction zone at forty-five miles per hour in Clark County, Arkansas. 3 He is following Victims Victor and Vanessa, two twenty-something friends traveling together to a Razorback game in Victor's cardinal red, four-door sedan. Dale drops his sweet-tea-flavored vodka drink and reaches over to pick it up. Just as Dale takes his eyes off the road, Victor brakes for a tractor-trailer in front of him. Dale's truck strikes Victor's car, crumpling the rear end and pushing Victor's car into the trailer. Dale jumps out of his truck, calls an ambulance, and checks on Victor and Vanessa. With tears streaming down his cheeks, he apologizes profusely to the two Razorback ...
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