The Florida Supreme Court recently held that the attorney-client privilege applies to an insurer’s written communications and that the insured cannot discover such privileged documents in a first party bad faith action. In Genovese v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company, 2011 Fla. LEXIS 621 (Fla. 2011), the Court found that an insured, who brings a bad faith action against his insurer, may not discover privileged communications that the insurer and its counsel had during the underlying action. This decision clarifies Allstate Ind. Co. v. Ruiz, 899 So. 2d 1121 (Fla. 2005), in which the Florida Supreme Court made broad pronouncements regarding the parameters of discovery in insurer bad faith actions. The Genovese court specifically stated that permitting the discovery of attorney’s work product in statutory first-party bad faith actions was the only holding in Ruiz.
A copy of the decision can be found here.