March 10, 2014 4th Circuit published opinion

Kenney v Independent Order of Foresters

Kenney sued Foresters in West Virginia alleging unfair handling of her insurance claim. The district court ruled Virginia law applied dismissed for failure to state a claim. The panel reversed and remanded. It held that under West Virginia law claims for unfair business practice, including handling claims against insurers, sound in tort. The panel held that under both the location test and the Restatement Second of Conflicts of Laws significant relationship test, West Virginia law applied because the harm occurred in West Virginia, Kenney is a West Virginia resident, no acts giving rise to the claim occurred in Virginia and West Virginia policy allows suits against insurers for wrongful handling while Virginia does not. The panel finally held that Kenney stated a claim as West Virginia has allowed similar claims in the past.

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