Bad Faith Tort Claim Against Insurance In Arizona
This court held that a bad faith tort claim may exist "if there is a 'special relationship arising from elements of public interest, adhesion, and fiduciary responsibility.'" Id. at 76, 985 P.2d at 561 (quoting Burkons v. Ticor Title Ins. Co., 168 Ariz. 345, 355, 813 P.2d 710, 720 (1991)). Burkons recognized that tort damages may be appropriate for the breach of special contractual relationships in which the object is "service, professional help, security or other intangibles." 168 Ariz. at 355, 813 P.2d at 720.
"a covenant of good faith and fair dealing in every contract." Rawlings v. Apodaca, 151 Ariz. 149, 153, 726 P.2d 565, 569 (1986) (emphasis added).
"The duty to act in good faith arises by virtue of a contractual relationship." Id.
Thus, it is well established that a third-party claimant, a stranger to the contract, cannot sue the insurer for tortious breach of the duty of good faith.
See, e.g., Ring v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 147 Ariz. 32, 35-36, 708 P.2d 457, 460-61 (App. 1985) (without the insured's assignment of rights, injured third party cannot sue insurer; third party "is a stranger to the fiduciary relationship between" insurer and insured).
See also Scroggins v. Allstate Ins. Co., 74 Ill. App. 3d 1027, 393 N.E.2d 718, 721, 30 Ill. Dec. 682 (App. Ill. 1979) (if no statute or contract allows direct action, third-party claimant cannot sue the insurer for breach of good faith duty).