Appellate Cases – William Shernoff


William M. Shernoff has worked on numerous historic, published appellate cases, including:

Egan v. Mutual of Omaha Ins. Co., 24 Cal.3d 809 (1979), 598 P.2d 452, 157 Cal. Rptr. 482 – In this landmark California Supreme Court opinion in 1979, the legal precedent was set enabling policyholders to sue their insurance companies for acting in “bad faith” and recovering punitive damages.

Delos v. Farmers Group, Inc., Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1, California. May 30, 1979 93 Cal.App.3d 642 – This insurance bad faith class action resulted in a $4 million punitive damage jury award against Farmers Insurance arising out of uninsured motorist coverage.

Pistorius v. Prudential Insurance Co., Court of Appeal, Third District, California. September 2, 1981 123 Cal.App.3d 541 – A $1 million punitive damage jury award was upheld for denial of disability benefits.

Frazier v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 5, California. June 10, 1985 169 Cal.App.3d 90 – Life insurance beneficiary awarded $8 million in punitive damages over the denial of $12,000 in life insurance benefits.

Sarchett v. Blue Shield of California, Supreme Court of California, In Bank. January 2, 1987 43 Cal.3d 1 – The court upheld a $100,000 jury verdict for denial of hospitalization benefits in the amount of $1,203 involving issues of who determines medical necessity.

Shernoff v. Superior Court, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 2, California. January 10, 1975 44 Cal.App.3d 406 – This decision arose over a class action for damages against numerous California title insurers on allegations of a conspiracy to fix title insurance rates.

Interinsurance Exchange v. Marquez, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 5, California. March 9, 1981 116 Cal.App.3d 652 – A dispute between Marquez and the Auto Club as to the Auto Club’s right to offset all workers’ compensation benefits from benefits due and owing from the Auto Club to Marquez under the uninsured motorist provision.

Mave Enterprises, Inc. v. The Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 1, California. September 26, 2013 219 Cal.App.4th 1408 – The Court of Appeal upheld an arbitration award of $3.7 million dollars arising out of small business owner’s fire damage claim.

Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Ins. Co. (2016) 63 Cal.4th 363. The California Supreme Court ruled that attorney fees (known as Brandt fees) should be included in the punitive damage ratio calculation whether the fees are decided by the jury or by the judge post verdict. This case initially resulted in a $19 million punitive damages jury award for partially denying hospitalization benefits.