Mealey's California Insurance

  • July 29, 2021

    Regulators To 9th Circuit: Don’t Expedite Suit Testing Conservatorship Of Insurer

    SAN FRANCISO — Expediting an appeal contesting a California federal judge’s dismissal of allegations that state regulators abused their authority by actions including obtaining a conservatorship against a workers’ compensation insurance carrier is not warranted and would be prejudicial, the regulators tell the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in their July 27 opposition to a motion to expedite.

  • July 29, 2021

    Dismissal Granted In Suit Over Vaccines Where District Requires Shot Or Testing

    LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) employees and an employee association have no grounds to proceed with a complaint over an alleged mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy where the School District decided to require the vaccine or testing, a federal judge in California ruled July 27, dismissing the claims against the two remaining defendants in the case, the superintendent and director of human resources, for failure to show future harm.

  • July 25, 2021

    California Federal Judge Says No Coverage Owed For Water Damages

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 9 granted a rental dwelling insurer’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith claims after determining that the insured failed to show that the water leak was sudden as required for coverage to exist under the policy.

  • July 25, 2021

    California Law, Not ERISA, Governs Disability Policy, Federal Judge Says

    LOS ANGELES — California law and not the Employee Retirement Income Security Act governs a disability policy because the policy at issue was an individual policy and the disability claimant paid the policy premiums directly to the insurer, a California federal judge said July 20 in granting the disability claimant’s motion for summary judgment and allowing breach of contract and bad faith claims to proceed.

  • July 23, 2021

    California Panel Affirms Court’s Refusal To Vacate Appraisal Award In Flood Suit

    VENTURA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on July 21 affirmed a trial court’s ruling that denied an insured’s petition to vacate an appraisal award in a flood damage coverage dispute and remanded with instructions for the trial court to affirm the award, finding that the appraisers did not exceed the scope of their authority.

  • July 20, 2021

    9th Circuit Asked To Expedite 2nd Suit Testing Conservatorship Of Insurer

    SAN FRANCISCO — An appeal contesting a federal judge in California’s dismissal of allegations that state regulators abused their authority by actions including obtaining a conservatorship against a workers’ compensation insurance carrier must be hastened or the appeal will not be completed before the conservation is lifted, the appellant told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a July 19 motion to expedite.

  • July 20, 2021

    Federal Judge Dismisses Motion Picture Company’s COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    LOS ANGELES — One day after a motion picture company insured and its insurer filed a joint stipulation of dismissal, a federal judge in California on July 16 dismissed without prejudice the insured’s lawsuit alleging that its insurer refused to extend its “film producers risk” insurance policy when the production of the  movie “Hypnotic” starring Ben Affleck was delayed by risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

  • July 19, 2021

    Insured’s Wildfire Coverage Suit Remanded; Appraiser Was Not Fraudulently Joined

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 16 granted an insured’s motion to remand a breach of contract and bad faith suit seeking coverage for the destruction of a home by a wildfire after determining that the insured’s claims against the insurer’s home appraiser are sufficient to defeat the insurer’s argument that the appraiser was fraudulently joined.

  • July 19, 2021

    Parties Announce Tentative Settlement Of Coverage Suit Arising From Worker Injury

    SAN FRANCISCO — Primary and excess commercial insurers and their insured on July 16 announced that they reached a tentative settlement of the insurers’ declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that the insured failed to use reasonable care in fulfilling its duty to oversee job site safety regarding the hazards associated with construction yard traffic.

  • July 15, 2021

    Reinsured Is Entitled To Select New Arbitrator, Federal Judge Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California joint powers authority is entitled to select a new arbitrator, a California federal judge said July 12 after determining that the authority’s arbitrator is not qualified to serve as an arbitrator in the arbitration of a dispute involving two reinsurance certificates issued to the authority.

  • July 14, 2021

    Insurer, Reinsurer Seek Dismissal Of Suit Following Completion Of Arbitration

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Following the completion of an arbitration proceeding between an insurer and a reinsurer over $8.6 million in equipment breakdown claims, the parties on June 24 filed a stipulation of dismissal in a California federal court.

  • July 13, 2021

    California Appeals Court Affirms Denial Of Anti-SLAPP Motion

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A trial court did not err in denying an anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) motion by a defendant accused of producing fraudulent medical reports and engaging in fraudulent billing practices, a California appellate panel concluded in a June 28 unpublished ruling.

  • July 09, 2021

    Federal Judge: Under Allegations, Insurer Has Duty To Defend Contractor

    LOS ANGELES — Allegations of construction defects, mismanagement of subcontractors and water damage caused by failure to properly secure a building in advance of a hurricane are sufficient in regard to a substantially completed garage for an insurer to have a duty to defend a general contractor, a federal judge in California ruled July 1, granting partial summary judgment in the contractor’s favor on a breach of contract claim.

  • July 09, 2021

    Bifurcation Of Bad Faith Claim Would Not Promote Judicial Efficiency, Judge Says

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 30 denied a stipulation to dismiss a breach of fiduciary claim against an auto insurer after determining that the insured must file an amended complaint to remove the claim and denied a stipulation to bifurcate the bad faith claim from the breach of contract claim because bifurcation would not serve the interests of judicial efficiency.

  • July 07, 2021

    Misrepresentation, Fraud Claims To Proceed Against Disability Insurer

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 28 denied a disability insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment on misrepresentation and fraud claims because the claims are based on conduct that occurred outside of the contract and are not preempted by the applicable Illinois law.

  • July 07, 2021

    California Federal Judge Denies Disability Insurer’s Motion To Dismiss

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 25 denied a disability insurer’s motion to dismiss after determining that the disability insurer is a proper defendant for the claimant’s short-term disability (STD) claim and that the disability insurer failed to prove that the claimant did not exhaust all administrative remedies on the claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits.

  • July 07, 2021

    Disability Claimant Failed To Show Benefits Termination Was Not Reasonable, Judge Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — A disability claimant failed to show that a disability insurer’s termination of long-term disability (LTD) was not reasonable, a California federal judge said June 23, noting that the claimant offered very little evidence in support of her claim for disability benefits.

  • July 07, 2021

    Federal Magistrate Judge Denies Disability Plan’s Motion For Protective Order

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal magistrate judge on June 24 denied a disability plan’s motion for a protective order, rejecting the plan’s argument that the disability claimant is not entitled to conduct discovery because the plan already produced the entire administrative record.

  • July 02, 2021

    Judge: Construction Delays, Project Damages Fall Squarely Under Flood Exclusion

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge in California on June 29 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss with prejudice a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking builders risk coverage for damages caused by continuous rainfall at a jobsite, finding that the policy’s flood exclusion barred coverage.

  • July 01, 2021

    Claimant Is Entitled To Payment Of LTD Benefits, Judge Says In Issuing Judgment

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 28 entered judgment in favor of a disability claimant after determining that a prior order finding that the claimant is owed long-term disability was a final order, entitling the claimant to a payment of past due and current benefits.