Mealey's California Insurance

  • October 18, 2017

    Judge: War Exclusions Bar Coverage For Postponement, Relocation Of Television Show

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Oct. 6 held that war exclusions in a motion picture/television producers portfolio insurance policy bar coverage for the expenses a production company incurred in postponing and subsequently relocating the production of the television show “Dig” from Israel because of conflict in summer 2014 (Universal Cable Productions LLC, et al. v. Atlantic Specialty Insurance Co., No. 16-4435, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167463).

  • October 11, 2017

    Home Developer Seeks Independent Counsel From Subcontractor’s Insurer

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A subcontractor’s insurer must provide a home developer with independent counsel in an action brought by homeowners suing for defects because the insurer is defending two sides in the action, the home developer argues in a reply brief filed Aug. 9 in the Third District California Court of Appeal (Centex Homes, et al. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, No. C081266, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.).

  • October 11, 2017

    Complex Owners’ Insurer Seeks Partial Coverage For Injury From Manager’s Insurer

    SAN FRANCISCO — An apartment complex property manager’s insurer is partially liable for an injury settlement that exceeded the one-year liability limits paid to a former tenant, the owners’ insurer argues in a reply brief filed Sept. 1 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, because the manager’s insurer’s other-insurance clause is not enforceable and California’ anti-stacking provision must be enforced (Atain Specialty Ins. Co. v. California Capital Ins. Co., No. 16-17221, 9th Cir.).

  • October 10, 2017

    CIGA Appeals Judgment On Reimbursement Sought Against It For Workers’ Comp Claims

    LOS ANGELES — The California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) on Oct. 9 cross-appealed to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a ruling vacating and setting aside reimbursement demands made to it under workers’ compensation insurance policies (California Insurance Guarantee Association v. Don J. Wright, et al., No. 15-01113, C.D. Calif.).

  • October 9, 2017

    Judge Issues $3.2M Default Judgment In Favor Of Reinsurer In Fraudulent Transfer Dispute

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Oct. 4 granted a reinsurer’s request for a $3.2 million default judgment in a dispute over alleged breach of reinsurance agreements as a result of a series of fraudulent transfers (Odyssey Reinsurance Co. v. Richard Keith Nagby, et al., No. 16-3038, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165582).

  • October 3, 2017

    Judge: No Coverage For Third-Party Claims Arising From Patent Infringement Dispute

    SAN DIEGO — Granting a business owners liability insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, a California federal judge on Sept. 29 found that a third-party complaint against an insured arising from a patent infringement lawsuit failed to trigger coverage (WAWGD, Inc., doing business as Foresight Sports v. Sentinel Insurance Company, No. 16-2917, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161361).

  • October 2, 2017

    California Panel Affirms $14M In Prejudgment Interest In Stringfellow Dispute

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California state court did not err in awarding the state of California almost $14 million in prejudgment interest in an environmental contamination suit arising out of cleanup costs at the Stringfellow Acid Pits Superfund site, the Fourth District California Court of Appeal said Sept. 29 after finding no error in the lower court’s application of vertical exhaustion and no error in its designated start date for the accrual of prejudgment interest (California v. Underwriter’s at Lloyds, et al., No. E064518, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 846).

  • September 26, 2017

    Magistrate Judge Denies Reinsurer’s Bid On Discovery For Distribution Of Funds

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal magistrate judge on Sept. 22 denied a reinsurer’s request for expedited discovery to locate unlawfully distributed funds (Odyssey Reinsurance Co. v. Richard Keith Nagby, et al., No. 16-3038, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155546).

  • September 26, 2017

    Insured Argues California’s Notice-Prejudice Rule Must Be Applied In Environmental Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — An insured argues in an Aug. 11 reply brief that the California Supreme Court should find that California’s common-law notice-prejudice rule is a fundamental public policy and applies both to a policy’s notice provision and consent provision in an environmental contamination coverage suit (Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co., No. S23950, Calif. Sup.).

  • September 25, 2017

    Insurer: Court Erred In Abdicating Its Duty To Exercise And Retain Jurisdiction

    SAN FRANCISCO — An insurer recently argued to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that none of the factors considered by a lower federal court, independently or even collectively, is sufficient to warrant its decision to stay the insurer’s declaratory judgment lawsuit challenging coverage for a data breach that resulted in a $4.12 million class action settlement (Columbia Casualty Co. v. Cottage Health System, No. 16-56872, 9th Cir.).

  • September 25, 2017

    Life Insurer Waived Plan’s Evidence Of Insurability Requirement, Panel Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 20 reversed a district court’s ruling in a life insurance benefits suit after determining that the plan participant is entitled to $250,000 in unpaid benefits because the life insurer waived the plan’s evidence of insurability requirement (Susan Salyers v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 15-56371, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18231).

  • September 21, 2017

    Insurer Files Answer, Wants Immediate Review Of ACA Lactation Coverage Ruling

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a motion seeking interlocutory review, an insurer argues that whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires an insurer to provide access to lactation services or merely forbids financial barriers to obtaining such services is exactly the type of question the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should address and, in an answer to the complaint filed Sept. 19 in a California federal court, the insurer says the plaintiffs’ fail to state a claim under either the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the ACA on which relief can be based (Rachel Condry, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., et al., No. 17-183, N.D. Calif.).

  • September 20, 2017

    Policies Bar Coverage For Additional Insured’s Defects, California Federal Judge Says

    SAN DIEGO — Commercial general liability insurance policies’ business risk exclusions preclude coverage for construction defects alleged by homeowners against an additional insured contractor, a California federal judge ruled Sept. 13 (Pulte Home Corp. v. American Safety Indemnity Co., No. 16-02567, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148653).

  • September 19, 2017

    California Federal Judge Allows Disability Claimant To Remain Anonymous

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Sept. 12 granted a disability claimant’s motion for leave to proceed anonymously after determining that the private facts at issue and the absence of a compelling interest in exposing the claimant’s identity warrant anonymity (Jane Doe v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company Employee Income Protection Plan, No. 17-1714, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147786).

  • September 19, 2017

    Award Of Attorney Fees Warranted As Disability Claimant Achieved Some Success

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Sept. 14 awarded a disability claimant more than $100,000 in attorney fees after determining that the award was warranted because the claimant achieved “some degree” of success on the merits (Robert Bosley v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 16-00139, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149453).

  • September 14, 2017

    Judge Refuses To Strike Class Allegations, Finds UCL Claims Are Representative

    SAN FRANCISCO — Since a construction company seeks to assert claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) as representative claims under state law, rather than as class claims under federal law, a California federal judge on Sept. 12 denied an insurer’s motion to strike parts of the company’s complaint filed against it in relation to its issuance of general liability insurance policies (Albert D. Seeno Construction Company, et al. v. Aspen Insurance UK Limited, No. 17-cv-03765, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147646).

  • September 14, 2017

    Judge: Insured Vs. Insured Exclusion Bars Directors, Officers Liability Coverage

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Sept. 11 found that an insured vs. insured policy exclusion bars directors and officers liability insurance coverage for an underlying cross-complaint, rejecting the plaintiffs’ argument that the indemnity exception to the exclusion applies to the underlying contractual indemnity claim brought against them (David Czerwinski, et al. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-4408, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147727).

  • September 14, 2017

    Disability Insurer Considered All Medical Records Before Denying LTD Claims

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Sept. 7 granted a disability insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the insurer thoroughly considered all of the medical records before finding that the claimant was not entitled to long-term disability benefits (Robert Gordon v. Metropolitan Insurance Co., No. 10-5399, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145200).

  • September 13, 2017

    Woman Should Not Be Released Pending Appeal Of Fraud Conviction, Judge Says

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A woman who was convicted on one count of making false statements to a grand jury as part of its investigation of a scheme involving fraudulent employment insurance benefits and disability claims should not be released on bail pending her appeal, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 23, finding that the appeal does not raise substantial questions (United States of America v. Harjit Kaur Johal, No. 14-cr-00169-GEB, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135345).

  • September 12, 2017

    California High Court Declines To Review Ruling On Policy Exhaustion In Silica Dispute

    LOS ANGELES — The California Supreme Court on Aug. 9 denied petitions for review filed by insurers and an insured seeking review of an appellate court’s’ ruling regarding the exhaustion of a primary policy in a silica coverage dispute (Truck Insurance Exchange v. Moldex Metric Inc., et al., No. S242845, Calif. Sup., 2017 Cal. LEXIS 6325).