We use cookies on this site to enable your digital experience. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. close

Mealey's California Insurance

  • August 20, 2018

    Shoring System Redesign Was Not Cleanup Cost Under Environmental Policy

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Aug. 15 determined that an insurer is entitled to summary judgment because the cost of redesigning a temporary shoring system is not a cleanup cost under an environmental legal liability policy (Essex Walnut Owner L.P. v. Aspen Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-6435, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138276).

  • August 16, 2018

    Judge Denies New Trial On Contract, Bad Faith Claims Against Insurer

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Aug. 1 denied a life insurer’s request for a new trial or judgment as a matter of law on breach of contract and bad faith claims and denied its motion to strike a reinsurance underwriter’s testimony (DCD Partners LLC, et al. v. Transamerica Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-03238, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135792).

  • August 13, 2018

    Judge: Insurer Has No Duty To Indemnify Disputes Over Payment For Work

    SAN FRANCISCO — An insurer has no duty to indemnify two lawsuits arising out of disputes on work performed on condominium buildings, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 10, granting in part summary judgment to the insurer but denying judgment on the duty to defend in light of triable fact issues on several exclusions (United States Liability Insurance Co. v. Contempo Homeowners Association, No. 18-02722, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135570).

  • August 13, 2018

    Insured’s Complaint In Bad Faith Suit Found To Be Timely, Not Prejudicial

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Aug. 6 ruled that insureds timely filed their breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against their insurer and that the insurer failed to show “beyond doubt” that their claims were barred by the statute of limitations (Daniel Foster, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 18-0485, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133897).

  • August 9, 2018

    Insurers File 3 Complaints For Equitable Contribution In Defense Of Defect Claims

    LOS ANGELES — Three lawsuits were filed by insurers on Aug. 8 in a California federal court asserting equitable contribution claims over defense costs for construction defects cases (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., et al. v. American Safety Indemnity Co., No. 18-06794; St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 18-06803; St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 18-06799, C.D. Calif.).

  • August 8, 2018

    Former Property Owner Is Not Off The Hook For Environmental Cleanup Costs

    LOS ANGELES — The Second District California Court of Appeal on Aug. 6 reversed a trial court’s ruling in favor of a former property owner after determining that the trial court erred in determining that the former property owner did not have a duty to indemnify an insured for environmental remediation costs pursuant to an indemnification agreement (Greenwich Insurance Co. v. Argonaut Group Inc., et al., No. B281218, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5352).

  • August 8, 2018

    Insurers Seek Reversal Of Ruling On Equitable Subrogation Claim

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insurers argue in a July 6 reply brief to a California appeals court that a state tax code does not preclude them from pursuing equitable and contractual subrogation claims against various subcontractors that allegedly owed a duty to defend a developer in an underlying construction defects case (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al. v. Engel Insulation Inc., No. C085753, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.).

  • August 7, 2018

    High Court Should Review 9th Circuit’s Offset Ruling, Disability Claimant Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court should grant review of a disability claimant’s petition for writ of certiorari in a dispute over the offsetting of a claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits to account for Social Security disability income (SSDI) benefits received on behalf of the claimant’s dependents because the plan administrators did not apply the language of the LTD plan as written, the claimant says in a June 22 reply brief (Susan Rene Jones v. Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corp., et al., No. 17-1478, U.S. Sup.).

  • August 7, 2018

    Bad Faith, Punitive Damages Claims Survive Dismissal In Contamination Coverage Suit

    FRESNO, Calif. — Claims for bad faith and punitive damages alleged against an insurer in an environmental contamination coverage suit can move forward, a California federal judge said Aug. 1 after determining that the insured has sufficiently alleged facts in support of the claims (City of Fresno v. Tokio Marine Specialty Insurance Co., No. 18-504, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129224).

  • August 6, 2018

    Parties Consent To Filing Of Documents Under Seal In Reinsurance Dispute

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In two putative class actions over a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA), a California federal judge on July 25 approved a stipulation and proposed order by the parties consenting to the filing of documents under seal and the redaction of documents (Shasta Linen Supply Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., Nos. 16-00158 & 16-01211, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126405).

  • August 6, 2018

    Reinsurer Seeks Judgment Against Broker’s Former Owners For $3.2M Judgment

    SAN DIEGO — In a California federal court dispute over breached reinsurance agreements from fraudulent transfers, a reinsurer on July 27 sought summary judgment against the former owners of an insurance brokerage company for payment of a $3.2 million judgment (Odyssey Reinsurance Co. v. Richard Keith Nagby, et al., No. 16-3038, S.D. Calif.).

  • August 1, 2018

    Insurers Seek Equitable Contribution For Defense Costs Of Defects Lawsuit

    LOS ANGELES — Two insurers allege in a July 18 complaint filed in a California federal court that three other insurers owe equitable contribution for the defense of an underlying construction defects case against a mutual additional insured (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co., et al. v. Everest National Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-06222, C.D. Calif.).

  • August 1, 2018

    Used Car Seller, Shell Reinsurer Allegedly Behind Fraud Schemes

    FRESNO, Calif. — A used-vehicle seller and its affiliates, including an illegal shell reinsurance company, are accused by a California man in a July 17 complaint in a state court of being behind three fraudulent schemes in the sale of used vehicles and violating California’ unfair competition law (UCL) (Gustavo Diaz-Samaniego v. Paul Blanco’s Good Car Company Fresno Inc., et al., No. 18CECG02632, Calif. Super., Fresno Co.).

  • July 30, 2018

    Intellectual Property Exclusion Bars Coverage For All Claims, 9th Circuit Affirms

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 26 affirmed a lower federal court’s finding that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying trademark and trade dress infringement lawsuit because the insurance policy's intellectual property exclusion bars coverage for all claims (Secard Pools Inc, et al. v. Kinsale Insurance Company, No. 17-55534, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20839).

  • July 26, 2018

    Motion For Attorney Fees Denied; Court Made No Ruling On Merits Of Disability Claim

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A disability claimant is not entitled to attorney fees and costs because she did not achieve success in an “action” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s attorney fee provision, a California federal judge said July 23, noting that the court did not rule on any substantive motions of the merits in the suit (Brenda Culbertson-Chavira v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 17-1702, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122872).

  • July 26, 2018

    Judge Approves Financial Report, Expenses In Insurer’s Liquidation Proceeding

    SAN FRANCISCO — A liquidator on June 28 provided notice of entry of a California judge’s approval of a financial report and expenses of administration in an insurer’s liquidation proceeding (Dave Jones v. CastlePoint National Insurance Co., et al., No. CPF-16-515183, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

  • July 25, 2018

    California Panel Holds Insurer Did Not Misrepresent Payment For Medical Services

    SAN DIEGO — A California court on July 20 affirmed a summary judgment ruling in favor of a health insurance company, holding that a noncontracted provider of medical services failed to show that the insurer violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) or that it misrepresented how much he would be paid for his services (James Ochi v. Anthem Blue Cross, et al., No. D071966, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4915).

  • July 25, 2018

    Insurer’s Termination Of Disability Benefits Was Reasonable Based On Evidence

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A disability insurer did not act in bad faith in terminating an insured’s benefits, a federal judge in California said July 23 after determining that based on the insured’s misrepresentations about her ability to work, the insurer had a reasonable basis to terminate the benefits (Devra Bommarito v. The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-1187, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122853).

  • July 18, 2018

    Federal Judge Extends Class Certification Motion Deadline In Reinsurance Dispute

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 17 extended deadlines for a class certification motion, a response and a reply in two putative class actions over a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) (Shasta Linen Supply Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., Nos. 16-00158 & 16-01211, E.D. Calif.).

  • July 17, 2018

    California Man Sues Used Car Seller, Shell Reinsurer For Fraud

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California man filed a complaint on July 12 in a California court against a used-vehicle seller and its affiliates, including an illegal shell reinsurance company, accusing them of being involved in three fraudulent schemes in the sale of used vehicles and violating California’ unfair competition law (UCL) (Richard Harkins v. Paul Blanco’s Good Car Company Fresno Inc., et al., No. 18CECG02582, Calif. Super., Fresno Co.).