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Woodson v. American Transit Ins. Co – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Woodson v. American Transit Ins. Co. (280 AD2d 328, 720 N.Y.S.2d 467 [1st Dept 2001]), the insured alleged that the insurer acted in bad faith when it denied the insured a defense in a personal injury action.

Therein, the Court held that the insurer could not assert claims of attorney-client privilege with respect to materials regarding retained counsel's handling of the claim since the attorney-client privilege belonged to the insured.

Thereafter, the Court stated, as a notation, that generally that where it is alleged that an insurer breached a fiduciary duty to the insured, the insurer may not use the attorney-client or work product privileges to shield disclosure of material relevant to the insurer's handling of the claim.