QGTB represented Hortica-Florists’ Mutual Insurance Company

QGTB represented Hortica-Florists’ Mutual Insurance Company (“Hortica”) in a declaratory judgment action seeking declaration of its contractual obligations to defend and indemnify Pittman Nursery Corporation (“PNC”) in a number of lawsuits for which PNC sought coverage.  While the court ruled on summary judgment that Hortica had a duty to defend PNC in the lawsuits, PNC’s counterclaim against Hortica for negligence, bad faith, and breach of contract proceeded to trial in October 2011.  After three days of testimony, the jury unanimously found that Hortica did not breach its contract with PNC but found that Hortica was negligent and acted in bad faith in the handling of PNC’s insurance claims, awarding PNC $1,350,000. On January 10, 2012, the trial court granted Hortica’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law finding that there was no legally sufficient basis to support the claims of negligence and bad faith and that the jury’s verdict was unsupported by substantial evidence.  The matter was appealed and on September 6, 2013, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the ruling of the district court.